North Coast Marbled Murrelet Status Update

Marbled murrelet at sea. Photo: Craig Strong.
Marbled murrelet at sea. Photo: Craig Strong.

“The reason we count murrelets at sea is, of course, because in the forest they are flying around at really high speeds in the dawn or dusk and while you can see them and hear them there is no way you can get a handle on their populations”, says Craig Strong of Crescent Coastal Research. Ken Burton, wildlife biologist, Secretary of the Redwood Region Audubon Society, Friends of the Arcata Marsh docent, and author, interviews Strong on the status of Marbled Murrelet’s on the north coast and his murrelet monitoring program.

The Marbled Murrelet is a small, enigmatic seabird that nests in old-growth coniferous forests.  It is vulnerable to threats facing both of its disparate habitats, including forest clearance and fragmentation, marine pollution, gill-netting, over-fishing, and climate change.  The Northwest Forest Plan provides a framework for protecting its remaining nesting habitat from Washington to California as well as funding for monitoring the effectiveness of conservation actions.  Craig Strong of Crescent Coastal Research monitors the Marbled Murrelet at sea from the Columbia River to San Francisco Bay and shares his insights on the status and future of the species and results of the last several years of monitoring.

Visit the Redwood Region Audubon Society for more information on local bird topics.

Click HERE for Strong’s paper on the Baseline Characteristics of Seabirds.


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