SIMoN
Special Status Species
SPECIAL STATUS SPECIES: MARBLED MURRELET (Brachyramphus marmoratus)
Marbled Murrelet
Photo: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Common name: Marbled Murrelet
Scientific name: Brachyramphus marmoratus
 
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Range Habitat Movements
Abundance Natural History Threats
Conservation Research Gaps Recommended Actions
References Resources

Listing Status
Endangered Species Act (?)
Status: Threatened (Washington, Oregon, California); Species of Concern (Alaska)
Critical Habitat: Designated in 19961
Recovery Plan: >Released in 19972
Five Year Status Review: Released in 20043

California Endangered Species Act (?)
Status: Endangered

California Department of Forestry (?)
Status: Sensitive Species

Migratory Bird Treaty Act (?)
Status: Protected

Audobon Society (?)
Status: Watch List - Red

United States Bird Conservation (?)
Status: Watch list

The World Conservation Union (IUCN) (?)
Status: Endangered

Geographic Range
General:

This species occurs in the eastern North Pacific Ocean from the Aleutian Islands and southern Alaska to southern California (Figure 1). The species’ distribution is nearly continuous in Alaska and British Columbia. However, there are major breaks in the distribution in Oregon and California. For example, in California only small numbers are seen in very low density between the nesting areas in Humboldt County and San Mateo/Santa Cruz Counties (Figure 2).3 Occasionally Marbled Murrelets are seen south of central California off either southern California or northern Baja California, Mexico.4 Genetic evidence suggests that the birds breeding in California are reproductively isolated from those breeding in British Columbia, Alaska and the Aleutian Islands.3 The genetic status of murrelets breeding on Oregon and Washington is not known.

MBNMS:

Marbled Murrelets nest in old growth forests adjacent to Sanctuary waters in southern San Mateo and northern Santa Cruz counties. Identified nesting habitats include: Portola Redwoods State Park (SP), Butano SP, Big Basin Redwoods SP, San Mateo County Memorial Park, Pescadero SP, and private property in the watersheds of Scott, Waddell, Butano, Gazos, and Pescadero Creeks (Figure 3).5,6 In the breeding season, adults are most frequently observed on waters adjacent to the nesting areas (e.g., off Pt. Año Nuevo) (Figure 4a).7 At the end of the breeding season, some adults remain near the nesting habitat while others (both adults and juveniles) disperse to the north and south (Figure 4c). During the non-breeding season, this species is most frequently observed in the northern portions of Monterey Bay between Moss Landing and Santa Cruz Harbor (Figure 4d).7,8 This species occurs less frequently in Monterey Co. (along the Monterey Peninsula and Big Sur coast)8 and in San Luis Obispo Co. (primarily between Pt. Piedras Blancas and Pt. Sal)9,10. There was some speculation in the mid-1990s that a few Marbled Murrelets were breeding on the Big Sur coast, but this has not been verified.8

 
MAMU range map
Figure 1. Range of the Marbled Murrelet Brachyramphus marmoratus and population size along sections of the west coast of North America.17
Download full-size figure (736 KB MS DOC).
 
MAMU densities sightings map
Figure 2. Densities of Marbled Murrelets along California coast by coastal sections. Proportional circles indicate densities per 2-km coastal segment (12 km2). The largest circle (Big Lagoon to Trinidad) equals a density of 8.81 birds/km2. Areas of old-growth forests are shown inland as shaded areas.30
Download full-size figure (736 KB MS DOC).
 
MAMU nesting map
Figure 3. Location of Marbled Murrelet nesting habitat in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Black stars show the location of identified nests.15
Download full-size figure (736 KB MS DOC).
 
MAMU density map
Figure 4. The distribution and abundance of the Marbled Murrelet in central California in three different oceanographic seasons: Upwelling (a); Oceanic (b); and Davidson (c). Panel (d) combines the three other panels to show seasonal high use areas. Blue lines indicate the boundaries of the Cordell Bank, Gulf of the Farallones and Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuaries.7
Download full-size figure (736 KB MS DOC).
 

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Habitat
General:

At sea, this species is typically found in coastal habitats, primarily within 5 km of shore, including bays, sounds, fjords and estuaries, and occasionally on rivers and lakes (usually within 20 km of ocean) during breeding season.4 Marbled Murrelets nest in old-growth (>250 years) trees usually within 60 km of the coast.3 Suitable trees have large upper branches covered in moss and other epiphytes, which form platforms large enough to support and egg and incubating bird.4 Ground-nesting on coastal rocky slopes occurs in parts of Alaska and British Columbia where coastal old-growth forests do not occur.3

MBNMS:

Most of the important marine and terrestrial habitats used by the central California population of Marbled Murrelets are found within the boundaries of the MBNMS. At sea, this species is found year-round in coastal waters, usually within 1-2 km of shore (Figure 4).7 The waters near Point Año Nuevo, which is adjacent to the only known nesting habitat in the region, is an area of very high use.11,12 Oceanographic conditions, such as surface temperature and upwelling intensity, have been found to influence the distance that breeding birds must travel to find good foraging areas.12,13 Most breeding activity takes place in mixed stands of mature redwood and Douglas fir; it was estimated that only about 3.5% of this old-growth nesting habitat remained in California in 1994.14 In central California, nesting occurs within 17 km of the coastline.15 Nest trees are frequently located near freshwater streams.15

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Migration and Movements
General:

During the breeding season, breeding adults are non-migrants that travel daily from nearshore foraging areas to nesting areas inland. During the non-breeding season, adults and juveniles may remain close to the nesting habitat or may disperse. Movements are limited to surface swimming during the post-breeding molt, which leaves birds flightless for up to 2 months.3

MBNMS:

Most individuals are probably year-round residents in the MBNMS. During the breeding season (late-March to early October), most adults are found in waters near Point Año Nuevo and in adjacent nesting habitats in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Travel to and from nesting sites usually occurs at dusk and dawn.16,17 Post-breeding, Marbled Murrelets tend to exhibit three different movement patterns: 1) remain near the nesting habitat; 2) short-distance dispersal, often to the waters of Monterey Bay (Figure 5); and 3) long distance dispersal, with some traveling as far north as southern Mendocino County and as far south as San Luis Obispo County (Figure 6)9. Resident (non-dispersing) adults visit nesting habitats year-round except during molting periods. Several studies have attempted to determine if individuals disperse to central California from nesting sites to the north (Humboldt and Mendocino counties). Using individual movements patterns and demographic modeling, Peery found evidence of dispersal into central California by birds from northern nesting colonies.12 However, studies of the genetic population structure along the west coast have found that the central California population is genetically distinct from populations to the north, which suggests that dispersal is uncommon.3

 
MAMU density map
Figure 5. Mean monthly density of Marbled Murrelets occurring in nearshore Monterey Bay (based on surveys between Capitola and Monterey Harbor from 1999 to 2001). Marbled Murrelets are generally absent during the breeding season. Abundance increases with the arrival of post-breeding adults and fledglings.31
Download full-size figure (736 KB MS DOC).
 
MAMU tracks
Figure 6. Locations of two tagged Marbled Murrelets tracked during the post-breeding season. The timing and direction of long distance movements are provided with dates and stippled arrows.9
Download full-size figure (736 KB MS DOC).

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Abundance
General:

The size of the total Marbled Murrelet population was recently estimated to be 947,500 birds.3 Of the total population, 91% is estimated to occur in Alaska. Population declines have been documented or suspected throughout most of the range where old-growth forest habitat has been removed by logging. Over the last two centuries, the greatest declines typically were in Washington, Oregon and California. However, since the early 1970s, large declines have been documented in populations in British Columbia and Alaska. Based on recent demographic data, population models predict an annual rate of decline throughout the range of 2.1-6.2%.3

The breeding population in California is estimated to have been 60,000 individuals prior to the commercial harvest of timber, which began in the mid-1800s.14 In 2004, the breeding population in California was estimated to be 4,598 individuals.3 Most individuals are concentrated in coastal waters off Del Norte and Humboldt counties (about 75% of the population), and lesser numbers (about 13%) in the MBNMS (San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties).

MBNMS:

The size of the central California population has been estimated to be 637, 628 and 615 in 2001, 2002, and 2003, respectively.12 Statistical models using the current demographic rates show that there is a strong possibility of extinction of the central California population within 40 years.3 The predicted population declines are based on both low adult survivorship rates (0.82) and very low nesting success (0.00-0.16).3 Monitoring of Marbled Murrelet activity levels in Big Basin, Portola, Butano and Memorial parks since 1995 has detected a drastic decline in breeding activity levels.6 Though Big Basin State Park has a large amount of high quality old growth forest habitat, nesting activity continues to decline (See Figure 7). Breeding success by the population of Marbled Murrelets in central California appears to be limited by food availability in some years and by predation of eggs and nestlings in other years; they do not appear to be limited by availability of suitable nesting habitat because of the small size of the population.18

 
MAMU activity map
Figure 7. Average annual Marbled Murrelet activity at five stations in Big Basin, showing total detections (± s.d) with linear regression trend. (Note: no data from 1997, 1999 or 2000.)6
Download full-size figure (736 KB MS DOC).

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Natural History
Click here to view the natural history information of this species.

Threats
General:

Habitat loss: In Washington, Oregon and California, the total loss of suitable nesting habitat between 1992-2003 is approximately 10% of the current estimate (2.2 million acres) of suitable habitat.3 The risk of habitat loss in Oregon and California on private lands is likely to remain high.3 Formation of new suitable habitat takes over a century once an area is harvested.

Oil spills: Marbled Murrelets are highly vulnerable to oil spills because they spend most of their lives at sea in coastal waters near shipping lanes and harbors.3 A minimum of 12 Marbled Murrelets was killed by the Apex Houston oil spill in central California in 1986.21 The SS Jacob Luckenbach, a vessel that sank in 1953 in the Gulf of the Farallones, has been intermittently leaking oil and constitutes an on-going threat to Marbled Murrelets in central California. Leaks are known to have occurred in 1997/98 (also called the Point Reyes Tarball Incidents) and 2001/02; other leaks may have occurred in past years.22 An estimated 122 individuals were killed by the 1997/98 leak.23 The damage assessment from the 2001/02 leak is still being completed.22 It is estimated that an additional 6-12 Marbled Murrelets were killed along the central California coast in 1998 by the Command oil spill.24 The number of birds killed in these incidents may seem small, but it is a substantial number of birds given the small size of the local population.

Human disturbance in nesting habitats: Human development near or recreational activities in old-growth coastal coniferous forest attracts corvids (e.g., Steller's Jays, Common Ravens), which are predators of Marbled Murrelet eggs and nestlings. Areas <1 km from humans have the highest risk of predation.3 Corvids are most likely attracted to these areas by increased food sources (e.g., garbage) associate with humans.

Predation: In California, this species is experiencing very low recruitment rates, due in large part to high and increasing predation rates. Predation on adults by predatory birds, such as raptors and owls, is increasing as some of the predator populations (e.g., Peregrine Falcon) recover from past populations reductions. Predation at the nest is a major cause of low recruitment rates. Nest predation by corvids is increasing, as nesting habitat becomes more fragmented and human disturbance increases.

Disease: Marbled Murrelets are at risk for domoic acid poisoning during harmful algal blooms. The recent increase in bacterial, fungal, parasitic and viral infections (e.g., West Nile Virus) in seabirds poses a threat to Marbled Murrelets.3

Incidental Take: Marbled Murrelets are highly susceptible to entanglement in gill net fishing gear. It is estimated that 175-300 Marbled Murrelets died in gill nets in central California between 1979-1987.25 Incidental take in gill nets was eliminated in central California by a closure of the fishery (see below for details). Some mortalities may occur due to entanglement in sport fishing gear.

Reduced prey availability: Marbled Murrelets compete with other marine predators and commercial fisheries for fish stocks. Overfishing has occurred in some areas leading to depleted fish stocks. In addition, natural changes in oceanographic conditions (e.g., El Niño, Pacific Decadal Oscillation) impact the population sizes of prey species. A comparison of the stable isotope levels in the pre-breeding feathers of Marbled Murrelets collected recently (1998-2002) to those from historic samples (1895-1911) indicated that murrelets are now foraging on prey one-half a trophic level lower than they were 100 years ago.26 Now breeding murrelets appear to eat fewer high-trophic-level prey (e.g., anchovy, sardine, squid) and more smaller, less energetically valuable, midtrophic-level fishes (e.g., juvenile rockfish) and low-trophic level krill, especially during cool ocean conditions. This change in pre-breeding diet composition of modern Marbled Murrelets may be partially responsible for the current low productivity of the central California population.

MBNMS:

No threats are unique to the MBNMS, but all the “general” threats may be impacting Marbled Murrelets in Sanctuary waters.

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Conservation and Research
Federal
General:

Due to drastic populations declines in Washington, Oregon and California, Marbled Murrelets in this “three state area” were listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1992. As required by the ESA, a recovery team was formed (in 1993) and a recovery plan was completed (in 1997). This document recommended that management plans be written and implemented for each of six conservation zones. It also recommended annual at-sea surveys to better assess population trends and reproduction. In 1996 critical habitat for the Marbled Murrelets was designated, as required under the ESA. Critical habitat is defined as specific areas that are essential to the conservation of a Federally listed species, and which may require special management considerations or protection. Federal agencies must consult with the FWS on any activities (including timber sales) that would affect Marbled Murrelets in critical habitat.

In 2002, the FWS was sued, in part over its failure to conduct a 5-year status review required under the ESA. A complete scientific review of the status of the Marbled Murrelet in the three state area was completed in 2004.3 After reviewing this document, the FWS concluded that the population of Marbled Murrelets in CA/OR/WA does not satisfy the criteria for designation as a Distinct Population Segment (DPS). The FWS has decided to conduct a status review of the entire species to determine whether: 1) the population in CA/OR/WA constitutes a “significant portion” of the range of the species; or 2) the species as a whole is at risk of extinction. These studies must be completed before FWS can propose to delist or reclassify the Marbled Murrelet under the ESA.

Until such time as the species is officially delisted, the FWS is the lead management agency responsible for conserving and restoring Marbled Murrelets in CA/OR/WA in the ESA. In addition, this species is protected in the U.S. and Canada by the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) of 1918, which prohibits pursuing, hunting, shooting, wounding, killing, trapping, capturing, or collecting any migratory bird, nest, or eggs without a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. On-going research projects and resource management at the federal level includes:

Marbled Murrelet Effectiveness Monitoring Effort (Coordinator: FWS). This program is an interagency cooperative monitoring effort, which includes researchers from Federal and State agencies and the private sector. The objective is to determine whether the Northwest Forest Plan is successfully maintaining and restoring Marbled Murrelet nesting habitat and populations and to adjusting management accordingly. This monitoring effort will develop good baseline information on nesting habitat and track population trends for populations between Washington and northern California. The Northwest Forest Plan does not include nesting habitat adjacent to the MBNMS.

MBNMS:

Command Oil Spill Seabird Restoration (contact: Charlene Andrade, FWS). Under the federal Oil and Pollution Act and the California Spill Prevention and Response Act, the parties determined to be responsible for the oil spill agreed in a settlement to fund projects to restore the natural resources that were damaged by the spill. The following two projects, which began in 2004 will help restore Marbled Murrelet populations in the MBNMS:

    1) Marbled Murrelet Restoration and Corvid Management Project: The goal of this project is to improve nesting success of the Marbled Murrelet in the Santa Cruz mountains by removing corvid predators near designated campgrounds and modifying conditions (e.g., garbage disposal, human disturbance) that attract corvids to the area.
    2) Marbled Murrelet Land Acquisition and Enhancement Project: This project will protect and enhance nesting habitat through the purchase of the Girl Scout Creek property in San Mateo County which appears to contain suitable nesting habitat. This property will be managed by the California Department of Parks and Recreation.

Coastal Ocean Mammal and Bird Education and Research Surveys. (Project Leader: Hannah Nevins, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories). In 1997 the MBNMS began a beach survey program using trained volunteers to survey beached marine birds and mammals monthly at selected sections of beaches throughout the Monterey Bay area. Currently, the program monitors 45 km of beaches in the MBNMS. The program is a collaborative project between MLML, MBNMS, and other state and research institutions, with the specific goal of using deposition of beach cast carcasses as an index of the health of the sanctuary.

State
General:

The Marbled Murrelet was listed as “endangered” under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA) in 1992. Under CESA the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) is directed to conserve, protect, restore, and enhance any endangered species. On-going research projects and resource management at the state level includes:

Protection from Incidental Take. CDFG operated bycatch monitoring program from 1983-89 for gill- and trammel-net fisheries along the California coast. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) continued the observer program from 1990-1994. Approximately 150-300 Marbled Murrelets were killed in the gillnet fishery in central California (San Francisco to Monterey Bay) between 1979-87.25 Regulations implemented by the CDFG have reduced incidental take of Marbled Murrelets. These regulations include:

  • Gill-net fishing is prohibited north of Point Reyes (Marine County)
  • Since 1987, waters less than 40 fathoms (80m) were closed to gill net fishing between San Francisco and Santa Cruz.
  • In 1990, gill net fishing was prohibited in waters less than 30 fathoms (60 m) in Monterey Bay and south-central coast.
  • A permanent closure of the halibut/angel shark set gillnet fishery inshore of 60 fathoms (~110 m) was implemented in September of 2002 and extends from Pt. Reyes in Marin county (38°N) to Pt. Arguello in northern Santa Barbara county (34°35’N).
Marine Bird and Mammal Aerial Surveys (Principal Investigator: Breck Tyler, CDFG-Office of Spill Prevention and Response). This project is sponsored by the CDFG-Office of Spill Prevention and Response. Monthly aerial surveys collect data on the distribution and abundance of marine birds and mammals in coastal waters (surfline to continental shelf edge). The low altitude (200 feet) surveys are conducted 1-2 days per month, weather permitting. The survey region stretches from Big Sur to Half Moon Bay, but individual surveys vary from place to place and usually do not cover the entire area.
Other
General:

Genetic Population Structure of Marbled Murrelets (Principal Investigator: Vicki Friesen, Queen’s University, Canada). The objective of the study is to characterize the genetic structure of the Marbled Murrelet throughout the entire range and to identify separate management units.

Genetic Analysis of Marbled Murrelets in Central California (Principal Investigators: Zach Peery, Steve Beissinger, and Per Palsboll, UC Berkeley): The objective of the study is to determine the relatedness of individuals in an attempt to determine if dispersal is occurring into the central California population from nesting colonies to the north. This study will also explore whether the central California population is a “sink”.

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Research Gaps
General:

On-going research programs are gathering some data on the genetic structure of Marbled Murrelet populations in central California and throughout the range of the species. Additional research is needed in the following areas:

  • Monitor the distribution and abundance of Marbled Murrelets in Sanctuary waters during breeding and non-breeding season. Monitor the proportion of fledglings and adults during at-sea surveys at the end of the breeding season to determine reproductive success. Locate critical foraging habitat.
  • Monitor temporal and spatial variation in diet composition of adults and juveniles. Determine which oceanographic conditions influence prey availability.
  • Monitor levels of exposure to toxic substances including oil, harmful algal blooms and other pathogens. Determine rates of injury and mortality.
  • Use radar to monitor nesting activity in known nesting habitat and to search for evidence of nesting activities in area suspected to contain suitable nesting habitat.
  • Employ banding and/or telemetry studies to monitor movement patterns of fledgling and adults in central and northern California. Determine if immigration occurs between these two regions.

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Recommended Actions
General:
  • Support the active management of fisheries that target the prey species of the Marbled Murrelet (e.g., anchovy and squid fisheries). The goal of management should be a balance between human use and maintaining adequate prey resources for this endangered population.
  • Review, update and help to implement all aspects of a vessel traffic management system along the central and southern California coasts to ensure the safe transport of petroleum and other hazardous materials near Marbled Murrelet foraging habitat.
MBNMS:
  • Enforce Sanctuary regulations that help prevent disturbance to Marbled Murrelets including:
    • Prohibitions on discharging or depositing any material in or near Sanctuary boundaries that injures a Sanctuary resource (e.g., garbage, oil, abandoned fishing gear). Particularly focus on protecting water quality in foraging areas, especially the foraging area around Pt. Año Nuevo.28
    • Prohibitions on take or injury to seabirds protected under the MBTA.
  • Support the protection and maintenance of large blocks of complex-structured forest far from human activity or with low levels of predators.
  • Support FWS programs to minimize predation of Marbled Murrelet eggs and nestlings in central California. These actions include education outreach programs to help reduce human activities that attract corvids and removing predators from certain areas.
  • Help reduce on-going mortality from oiling by maintaining the moratorium on offshore oil development in the MBNMS, reducing chronic oil pollution from sunken vessels, and increasing response capability against oil spills. Model the potential impacts future spills at different times of year to determine appropriate levels of rescue and restoration efforts.
  • Support efforts by FWS, NMFS, and CDFG to document levels of incidental take in various fisheries and encourage enactment of regulations to minimize this source of mortality.29
  • Continue efforts (e.g., Beach COMBERS) to locate and recover beachcast Marbled Murrelets and to identify the causes of mortality.

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Cited References
1. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) (May 24, 1996) Final Rule. Final Designation of Critical Habitat for the Marbled Murrelet. Federal Register Vol. 61, No. 102:26256-26320. http://www.epa.gov/fedrgstr/EPA-SPECIES/1996/May/Day-24/pr-10154.pdf
2. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) (1997) Recovery Plan for the Threatened Marbled Murrelet (Brachyramphus marmoratus) in Washington, Oregon, and California. Portland, OR. 203 pp. http://ecos.fws.gov/docs/recovery_plans/1997/970924.pdf
3. McShane C, Hamer T, Carter H, Swartzman G, Friesen V, Ainley D, Tressler R, Nelson K, Burger A, Spear L, Mohagen T, Martin R, Henkel L, Prindle K, Strong C, Keany J (2004) Evaluation report for the 5-year status review of the Marbled Murrelet in Washington, Oregon, and California. EDAW, Inc., Seattle, Washington. Unpublished report. Prepared for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Region 1. Portland, Oregon. http://www.earthjustice.org/backgrounder/display.html?=yes&ID=100
4. Gaston AJ, Jones IL (1998) The Auks. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
5. Peery MZ, Beissinger SR, Newman SH, Becker BH, Burkett EE, Williams TD (2004a) Individual and temporal variation in inland flight behavior of Marbled Murrelets: implications for population monitoring. The Condor 106:344-353.
6. Suddjian DL (2004) Summary of 2003 Marbled Murrelet Monitoring Surveys in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Prepared for by David L. Suddjian Biological Consulting Services for the Command Oil Spill Trustee Council.
7. NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) (2003) A Biogeographic Assessment of North/Central California: To Support the Joint Management Plan Review for Cordell Bank, Gulf of the Farallones, And Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuaries; Phase I - Marine Fishes, Birds and Mammals. Prepared by NCCOS's Biogeography Team in Cooperation with the National Marine Sanctuary Program, Silver Spring, MD. http://biogeo.nos.noaa.gov/products/canms_cd/
8. Roberson D (2002) Monterey Birds. Monterey Peninsula Audobon Society, Carmel, CA.
9. Peery Z, Beissinger S, Newman S (2003) Post-breeding Season Movements and Distribution of Marbled Murrelets in Central California. Preliminary Report submitted to the Oiled Wildlife Care Network and Office of Spill Prevention and Response.
10. Henkel LA (2004) At-Sea Distribution of Marbled Murrelets in San Luis Obispo County, California. Final Report to the Oil Wildlife Care Network.
11. Ainley DG, Allen SG, Spear LB (1995) Offshore occurence patterns of Marbled Murrelets in central California. In: Ralph CJ, Hunt GLJ, Raphael MG, Piatt JF (eds) Ecology and conservation of the Marbled Murrelet, Vol Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-152. Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Albany, CA, p 361-369. http://www.fs.fed.us/psw/publications/documents/gtr-152/
12. Peery MZ (2004) Ecology and Conservation of the Marbled Murrelet (Brachyramphus marmoratus) in central California. Ph.D. Thesis, University of California, Berkeley.
13. Becker BH, Beissinger SR (2003) Scale-dependent habitat selection by a nearshore seabird, the Marbled Murrelet, in a highly dynamic upwelling system. Marine Ecology Progress Series 256:243-255.
14. Larsen CJ (1994) Report to the Fish and Game Commission: A Status Review of the Marbled Murrelet (Brachyramphus marmoratus) in California. California Department of Fish and Game, Wildlife Management Division, Department Candidate Species Status Report 91-1. http://www.dfg.ca.gov/hcpb/info/bm_research/bm_pdfrpts/91_04.pdf
15. Baker LM, Peery MZ, Beissinger SR, Burkett E, Singer SW, Suddjian DL (2006) Nesting habitat characteristics of the Marbled Murrelet in central California redwood forests. Journal of Wildlife Management 70(4): 939-946.
16. Naslund NL (1993) Breeding biology and seasonal activity patterns of Marbled Murrelets (Brachyramphus marmoratus) nesting in old-growth forests. M.S. Thesis, University of California, Santa Cruz.
17. Ralph CJ, Hunt GLJ, Raphael MG, Piatt JF (1995) Ecology and Conservation of the Marbled Murrelet in North America: an Overview. In: Ralph CJ, Hunt GLJ, Raphael MG, Piatt JF (eds) Ecology and Conservation of the Marbled Murrelet, Vol Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-152. Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Albany, CA, p 3-22. http://www.fs.fed.us/psw/publications/documents/gtr-152/
18. Peery MZ, Beissinger SR, Newman SH, Burkett EE, Williams TD (2004b) Applying the Declining Population Paradigm: Diagnosing Causes of Poor Reproduction in the Marbled Murrelet. Conservation Biology 18:1088-1098.
19. Peery MZ, Beissinger SR, Burkett E, Newman SH (2006) Local survival of Marbled Murrelets in central California: roles of oceanographic processes, sex, and radio-tagging. Journal of Wildlife Management. 70(1): 78-88.
20. Hebert PN, Carter HR, Golightly RT, Orthmeyer DL (2003) Radio-telemetry evidence of re-nesting in the same season by the Marbled Murrelet. Waterbirds 26:261-265.
21. Carter HR, Lee VA, Page GW, Parker MW, Ford RG, Swartzman G, Kress SW, Siskin BR, Singer SW, Fry DM (2003) The 1986 Apex Houston oil spill in central California: seabird injury assessments and litigation process. Marine Ornithology 31:9-19. http://www.marineornithology.org/PDF/31_1/31_1_2_carter.pdf
22. Roletto J, Mortenson J, Harrald I, Hall J, Grella L (2003) Beached bird surveys and chronic oil pollution in Central California. Marine Ornithology 31:21-28. http://www.farallones.org/research_page/31_1_3_roletto.pdf
23. Carter HR, Golightly RT (eds) (2003) Seabird injuries from the 1997-1998 Point Reyes Tarball Incidents, Vol. Unpublished report, Humboldt State University, Department of Wildlife, Arcata, California. PDF download
24. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) (2004) Command Oil Spill. Final Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment.
25. Carter HR, Erickson RA (1992) Status and conservation of the Marbled Murrelet in California, 1892-1987. Proceedings of the Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology 5:92-108
26. Becker BH, Beissinger SR (2006). Centennial decline in the trophic level of an endangered seabird after fisheries collapse in Monterey Bay. Conservation Biology 20(2): 470-479.
28. Addressed in part by JMPRWildlife Disturbances Issues - Marine Mammal, Seabird and Turtle Disturbance Action Plan: Marine Debris Strategy. Joint Management Plan Review (JMPR). Proposed Action Plans. Draft report. Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/jointplan/drafts/mb_mp.html
29. Addressed in part by JMPRWildlife Disturbances Issues - Marine Mammal, Seabird and Turtle Disturbance Action Plan: Commercial Harvest Related Disturbance Strategy. Joint Management Plan Review (JMPR). Proposed Action Plans. Draft report. Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/jointplan/drafts/mb_mp.html
30. Ralph CJ, Miller SL (1995) Offshore population estimates of Marbled Murrelets in California. In: Ralph CJ, Hunt GLJ, Raphael MG, Piatt JF (eds) Ecology and conservation of the Marbled Murrelet, Vol Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-152. Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Albany, CA, p 353-360. http://www.fs.fed.us/psw/publications/documents/gtr-152/
31. Henkel LA (2004) Seasonal abundance of marine birds in nearshore waters of Monterey Bay, California. Western Birds 35:126-146.

References and Resources  
Click here for images, reports, and links to other websites for this species.

Acknowledgement of Reviewers

Thank you to Laird Henkel and Zach Peery for reviewing this report and providing helpful comments and corrections.


Content Last Modified: 05/2005



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