P. Prestrud, Norwegian Polar Institute, Polar Environmental Centre, NO-9296 Troms0, Norway; current address: Centre for Climate and Environmental Research in Oslo, Box 1129, Blindern, N0-0318 Oslo, Norway; H. Str0m & H. V. Goldman, Norwegian Polar Institute, Polar Environmental Centre, NO-9296 Troms0, Norway.
The Arctic hosts a minor, but unique component of global biodiversity in that it contains endemic species and unique ecological processes and adaptations caused by a short growing season, a long and cold winter during which complete darkness reigns for a period which correlates with latitude (with equivalent periods of midnight sun each summer), and sea ice. Although the Arctic has relatively few species, the genetic diversity of many of these species is high, creating a mosaic of distinct populations and subspecies (Groombridge & Jenkins 2000; CAFF 2001). Knowledge of individual species and their distributions is fundamental in all ecological investigations. As biodiversity is lost across the globe (Wall et al. 2001), it becomes urgently important to document what species are present.
It is generally accepted that High Arctic ecosystems are comparatively simple. The negative correlation between species diversity and latitude, except for groups such as benthic animals, sawflies and sandpipers, is well established. In the context of environmental impact studies (Miljúundersúkelser pa Svalbard) conducted in Svalbard in the late 1980s (Hansson et al. 1987), a discussion about the simplicity of the archipelago's ecosystems arose. Would it be possible to compile existing information about the species in Svalbard and to document how simple (or complex) the system really is?
The Norwegian Government has set high goals for the management of Svalbard. A white paper to the Parliament (Stortingsmelding nr. 9 19992000 Svalbard) states that "Svalbard should be one of the world's best managed wilderness areas. In the event of a conflict between environmental and other interests, environmental considerations are to prevail within the limits dictated by treaty obligations and sovereignty considerations." Achieving these goals depends on effective conservation and management, which in turn largely depends on up-to-date knowledge about the species, their distribution and their ecology.
In 1987, the Norwegian Polar Institute initiated a review of all published taxonomic material from Svalbard through a list of the species that had been found. That turned out to be a much bigger and time-consuming task than had been anticipated! One reason was the enormous number of publications on the topic. Because Svalbard is so accessible, large numbers of taxonomists have visited the islands over the last couple of centuries. Another reason was what seemed to be insurmountable taxonomic problems and strong disagreements among experts on the different taxonomic groups. On at least two occasions, the project ground to a halt and the draft chapters were shelved for a few years. Paradoxically, this seems to have helped bring the catalogue forward. When the manuscripts were picked up and dusted off, viewpoints seemed to have matured and disagreements lessened; fresh enthusiasm pushed the catalogue toward its completion.
The aim of the present catalogue, a companion to A catalogue of Svalbard plants, fungi, algae and cyanobacteria (Elvebakk & Prestrud 1996), has been to critically review the present literature and to use existing data bases to compile an updated species checklist for both marine and terrestrial animals. The catalogue consists of three main parts: the marine macro-organisms in Sval-bard waters; the terrestrial and freshwater invertebrate fauna of Svalbard (and Jan May en); and the bird and mammal fauna of Svalbard. Each covers the entire Svalbard archipelago, but Chapter 3 also includes the fauna of Jan Mayen.
Svalbard is an archipelago of mountainous islands in the Arctic Ocean, located between latitudes 74° and 81° N and longitudes 10° and 35° E (see the map on the back cover of this volume). It covers a total terrestrial area of approximately 61 200 km2. (As of early 2004, Norwegian territorial waters extend 12 nautical miles from land). Svalbard includes the small island of Bj0rn0ya (Bear Island), which is roughly 240 km south of Spitsbergen and midway between mainland Norway and the main group of islands.
The archipelago's climate is High Arctic, with average summer temperatures reaching only 4 - 5 °C. About 60 % of Svalbard is covered by glaciers or ice caps. In Longyearbyen, the islands' main settlement, there are about four months of continuous daylight; the polar night, when the sun stays completely below the horizon, is just a bit shorter. Despite its extreme northern location, the region is one of the most accessible parts of the High Arctic owing to the fact that the waters around the western part of the archipelago are open at least for most of the year. A branch of the North Atlantic Current transports relatively warm and high salinity water northwards into the Barents Sea and along the western coast of Spitsbergen throughout the year. This water mass mixes with cold polar water, resulting in high marine production at the fronts. The large biomass of pelagic invertebrates and fish forms the food base for sizeable populations of marine birds and marine mammals. The waters around the rest of Svalbard, not warmed by the North Atlantic Current, are covered by sea ice during much of the year. The extent of the ice cover varies from year to year (Mehlum & Bakken 1994; Hisdal 1998; Shapiro 2002).
Seeking a northern passage to India and China in 1596, Willem Barentsz discovered Svalbard instead (Arlov 1989). Svalbard's subsequent history can be seen in terms of lengthy, overlapping phases of exploitation: first whaling and the hunting of other marine mammals, then fur-trapping and, finally, coal mining (Arlov 1989; Hjelle 1993; Hisdal 1998). At the beginning of the 21st century, mining continues in Svalbard but scientific study—which began in the 1800s—and nature conservation have become the predominant themes, with tourism playing an increasingly significant role. Among the most northerly of year-round settlements, Ny-Alesund began as a mining village but is now a base of operations for an international research community. Here, scientists investigate climate change, eco-
toxins transported from industrialized regions in the south and other topics of critical significance. In Longyearbyen, The University Centre in Sval-bard brings together natural science students from mainland Norway and beyond.
Conservation has become a high priority. In 2003, five newly proposed protected areas of various categories have increased the total land area under protection to 65 % of the archipelago, or roughly 39 500 km2 (see the back cover). The total protected marine area is about 74 092 km2. The walrus—once brought by hunting to the brink of extermination in the archipelago—is fully protected and is repopulating Svalbard's coasts.
Tourism offers new economic opportunities and environmental challenges. Tourists are attracted to the apparently pristine nature of Svalbard's stunning landscapes but their presence in large numbers potentially damages delicate flora and disturbs wildlife. The increased ship traffic and waste production that accompany growth in tourism constitute other potential threats to the environment.
The isolated island of Jan Mayen is situated between the Greenland Sea and the Norwegian Sea (71° N, 8° 30' W), 1000 km west of Norway, 500 km east of Greenland and 600 km north of Iceland (Gabrielsen et al. 1997; Hacquebord 1998). The island is 54 km long and 2.5 km to 17 km wide. Like Svalbard, Jan Mayen is in a highly biologically productive convergence zone of the south-flowing East Greenland Current and the north-flowing North Atlantic Current. These conditions strongly influence the island's fauna. The vegetation is sparse, with large, virtually bare areas (Knaap & Leeuwen 1998).
The present catalogue comprises a total of 2981 species. Chapter 2 covers the marine macro-organisms (marine invertebrates and fish species larger than ca. 1 mm) found in the Svalbard waters, and a total of 1708 marine species from 18 phyla have been documented in 137 articles and unpublished reports. The largest species diversity is found among the Crustacea with 467 species, followed by the Mollusca with 252 and Annelida with 254 species. Based on the data included in the checklist, 1415 species have been recorded only in the coastal region of the main part of the Svalbard archipelago, 30 have been recorded only at Bj0rn0ya, and 264 species have been recorded in both areas.
Chapter 3 covers the terrestrial and freshwater invertebrate fauna of Svalbard and Jan
Mayen, and a total of 1040 terrestrial and freshwater species have been extracted from 344 articles. Twelve phyla are represented, eight from the Kingdom Animalia (the Rotifera, Nematoda, Platyhelminthes, Annelida, Tardigrada, Chelic-erata, Mandibulata and Crustacea) and four from the Protoctista (the Rhizopoda, Actinopoda, Cil-iophora and Apicomplexa). The class Insecta is represented by 230 species, with the Diptera forming the largest order (128 species). Fifty-nine species of Collembola have been recorded in Svalbard, and a further 103 invertebrate species have been found on Jan Mayen.
Chapter 4 covers the birds and mammals of Svalbard, and the checklist comprises 202 species of birds and 31 species of mammals. These represent 17 orders and 43 families, and 5 orders and 15 families, respectively. Twenty-eight of the bird species are regarded as abundant or common breeders, and 13 are uncommon, irregular or probable breeders. Twelve species have been recorded as having bred in Svalbard, and the remaining 149 are occasional or rare vagrants. Of the mammals, eight species are regarded as common breeders, whereas 16 species are occasional or rare vagrants. A further six species and one subspecies were introduced but have subsequently become extinct, and one has died out through overexploitation.
All three papers comprise two main sections: the species checklist and the reference list. Each species is presented with its scientific name, followed by numbers corresponding to sources in the reference list. Apart from this, the authors of the individual chapters have been given the freedom to present the basic information they deem most suitable for their group of animals. Chapters 2 and 3 include authorities for each species; Chapter 4 gives authorities only for the mammals. As more is known about the distribution and occurrence of birds and mammals than most other groups in Svalbard, Chapter 4 includes abbreviations describing each species' occurrence rating, and—for the birds—a code indicating whether the record is approved by the committees handling new records of birds in Svalbard or Norway. Chapter 4 also includes the species' common English names.
While the reference sections in this catalogue probably includes most of the relevant publications concerning the marine, freshwater and terrestrial animal fauna of Svalbard, it is important to note that this volume is not a complete list of the fauna. Some of the reasons for this are:
• the majority of collections have been made on the west coast of Spitsbergen, especially in the vicinity of Longyearbyen, Ny-Alesund and Hornsund, which is more accessible than other parts of the archipelago
• there is a likely bias towards those species which are easily identified compared to those species more difficult to collect or identify
• erroneous identifications
• over-representation of taxa which have been of special interest to Arctic taxonomists
• confusion due to synonyms and inconsistency in reference works
• the original material recorded from Svalbard has simply been compiled—not revised—by the authors of much of the cited literature
• not all records are reported or published Misinterpretations and errors undoubtedly occur in this list of nearly 3000 species. We would therefore appreciate corrections and additions from readers.
We hope that this volume contributes in some way to the scientific study and environmental conservation of Svalbard. An enormous amount of effort has been invested in this catalogue through the participation of numerous experts, some of whom were consulted directly by the authors of the individual chapters as they worked on their manuscripts and others who served as (mostly anonymous) reviewers. The editors are indebted to the more than 20 referees who donated their time and knowledge to improve this volume; indeed, two had so much to contribute that they were brought on board as co-authors. The editors also thank the authors of each chapter for their perseverance.
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