Pacific Black Brant
The Pacific Black Brant (Branta bernicla nigricans) is a priority migratory species shared by Canada, U.S. and Mexico. Historically, the Pacific Black Brant has received special attention, as they winter almost exclusively on the Pacific coast of the U.S. and Mexico. Its wintering population in northwest Mexico has been monitored since 1949, when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service added the peninsular lagoons to its aerial surveys of Mexican waterfowl. These surveys have documented a significant downward trend in the past ten years. Although the reasons for this change in distribution are unknown, these are likely related to changes in food availability (wintering brant in Mexico rely heavily on eelgrass) and increased disturbance from human activities.
SJV partners are working to better understand the distribution and abundance of Pacific Brant in their traditional wintering sites in northwest Mexico, with the goal of developing a coordinated long-term monitoring program for the species.