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Chapter 29: Marine Distribution, Abundance, and Habitats of Marbled Murrelets in British ColumbiaAuthor(s): Alan E. Burger
Source: In: Ralph, C. John; Hunt, George L., Jr.; Raphael, Martin G.; Piatt, John F., Technical Editors. 1995. Ecology and conservation of the Marbled Murrelet. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-152. Albany, CA: Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture; p. 295-312
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Pacific Southwest Research Station
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DescriptionAbout 45,000-50,000 Marbled Murrelets (Brachyramphus marmoratus) breed in British Columbia, with some birds found in most parts of the inshore coastline. A review of at-sea surveys at 84 sites revealed major concentrations in summer in six areas. Murrelets tend to leave these breeding areas in winter. Many murrelets overwinter in the Strait of Georgia and Puget Sound, but the wintering distribution is poorly known. Aggregations in summer were associated with nearshore waters (<1 km from shore in exposed sites, but <3 km in sheltered waters), and tidal rapids and narrows. Murrelets avoided deep fjord water. Several surveys showed considerable daily and seasonal variation in densities, sometimes linked with variable prey availability or local water temperatures. Anecdotal evidence suggests significant population declines in the Strait of Georgia, associated with heavy onshore logging in the early 1900s. Surveys made between 1979 and 1993 in Barkley and Clayoquot sounds suggest 20-60 percent declines in densities. These changes are correlated with intensive onshore logging, although El Niño effects are probably also involved.
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CitationBurger, Alan E. 1995. Chapter 29: Marine Distribution, Abundance, and Habitats of Marbled Murrelets in British Columbia. In: Ralph, C. John; Hunt, George L., Jr.; Raphael, Martin G.; Piatt, John F., Technical Editors. 1995. Ecology and conservation of the Marbled Murrelet. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-152. Albany, CA: Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture; p. 295-312
- Chapter 28: Abundance, Distribution, and Population Status of Marbled Murrelets in Alaska
- Chapter 11: Patterns of Seasonal Variation of Activity of Marbled Murrelets in Forested Stands
- Chapter 30: Marbled Murrelet Populations of Washington — Marine Habitat Preferences and Variability of Occurrence
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