On Monday April 23 The Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) working group hosted a media event to present the updated version of the Arctic Species Trend Index (ASTI) to journalists attending the conference.

Update on the ASTI

The ASTI is a data set used by scientists to track how Arctic ecosystems and vertebrate species are responding to change. The ASTI was originally released in 2010 but in 2012 it has been updated with more data so that 37% of all known Arctic vertebrate species are now represented.

During the media event Anthon Frederiksen (Minister of Domestic Affairs, Nature and the Environment, Greenland), Gustaf Lind (Senior Arctic Officials Chair), and Mike Gill (Chair, of the CBMP) presented the ASTI report and commented on its value.

Successful press event

The event was attended by 15 journalists and after a presentation of the highlights of the ASTI there was a bit of time for a short question and answer session.

The journalists were especially interested in the fact that commercially important species of fish such as Pacific herring, ocean perch and Arctic cisco were strongly linked to large-scale climate oscillation in the report. The decline of Arctic bird populations was also noted. To conclude the event some questions were also raised on the current limitations of the Polar bear data. In interviews following the press event Mike Gill and Tom Barry (Executive Secretary of CAFF) were also asked about what influence the ASTI can have on policy decisions.

The press event has already spawned two online articles. One from Nunatsiaqonline.ca and one from Nature.com

For more information on the ASTI report please see the ASTI pages of the CAFF website.

 

Photo: Anthon Frederiksen, Gustaf Lind, and Mike Gill presented the ASTI report at the event.