Friday, February 09, 2007

Marbled Murrelets Declining Across Entire Pacific North West

The U.S. Geological Service has reported that Marbled Murrelets, an endangered seabird, are facing population decline throughout thier range. This flies in the face of many in the logging industry who contend that extinction on the north coast of California is acceptable because there are more birds in Canada and Alaska.

Last year the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed to reduce protected habitat for the birds by 94%. This would bring it down from 3.9 million acres down to 221,692 acres.

A combination of logging, gillnetting, oilspills, and climate related collapse in the ocean food chain have severly decreased the survival rates of these birds. The M. Murrelets in northern California differ somewhat from the M. Murrelets in the far north. In California the birds nest exclusively in large old trees but some populations farther north nest in rock cavities.

To download the USGS report visit this site.


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