Arctic Tern Research Papers

Decent Essays
The Arctic Tern The Arctic tern is a seabird that belongs to the tern family, Sternidae. The species spends the northern summers in the colder regions of Eurasia and North America. It migrates to the southern hemisphere during the northern winter. The Arctic tern breeds between May and July in the Arctic and subarctic regions of Asia, North America and Europe, as far south as Massachusetts. The Arctic tern has the K reproductive strategy because it only lays two eggs a year, each with a high probability of survival into adulthood. The population size generally stays the same and equal throughout the age demographics, a common characteristic of K reproductive strategists. The community of the Arctic tern contains a wide range of species, as…show more content…
It’s all about survival. When the Arctic tern enters the southern hemisphere, summer starts over and temperatures stay mild and within the tern’s range of tolerance. Most Arctic terns spend the first month of their migration in the north Atlantic ocean eating and collecting energy for the long trip ahead. Some migrations have been over 44,000 miles long round trip, with the birds rarely stopping for rest and food. The specific reason these animals migrate so far is widely unknown, although it is assumed for survival or breeding purposes. Some scientists suggest “that it's because of the rich [polar] feeding grounds that they travel so far.” If the migrations performed by this organism were to stop, the population would decrease rapidly because the temperatures in either one of their habitats will drop so low that they will be outside the Arctic tern’s limits of tolerance and the birds would freeze to death. Arctic terns also provide a great source of pest control when they eat insects and worms during their migrations. This would then be lost if the Arctic tern stopped migrating. The Arctic tern has an annual mortality rate of 18%, according to a study in the Farne Islands. Over 50% of the species will live past their 30th birthday, with an average lifespan of 20 years, an anomaly for birds, who normally live between 2 and 5
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