Urge Oregon Officials to Create Strong Survival Guidelines to Protect the Marbled Murrelet

Take action today to urge the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) Commission to adopt strong survival guidelines for the Marbled Murrelet at their upcoming June meeting.  In February, the ODFW Commission voted to change the status of Marbled Murrelets from threatened to endangered under the Oregon Endangered Species Act.  This decision was based on the fact that Marbled Murrelets continue to move toward extinction in Oregon primarily due to inadequate protections on land regulated by the State of Oregon.

ODFW is required to put in place survival guidelines at the time of uplisting until permanent management plans can be developed. Unfortunately the proposed survival guidelines developed by ODFW add very little new protection for the Marbled Murrelet—basically they continue the status quo that has put murrelets close to extinction in Oregon.

Marbled Murrelet, Photo by Rich MacIntosh, USFWS

Urge ODFW to create stronger survival guidelines for the Marbled Murrelet

Write to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) Commission and urge them to adopt strong survival guidelines for the Marbled Murrelet at their upcoming June meeting.

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What We’re Advocating For

  • The Survival Guidelines should take effect immediately, rather than two years from now as proposed by ODFW.
  • Require protection of all high quality suitable Marbled Murrelet nesting habitat (both occupied and unoccupied).
  • Specifically require land-managing agencies to develop management plans that adopt the Pacific Seabird Group Protocol as the “Approved survey” for monitoring state forest lands for murrelet occupancy, presence, and potential absence.
  • Require specific forest thinning techniques in areas near Marbled Murrelet Habitat that limit corvid penetration into suitable habitat.
  • The minimum consecutive years a site should be surveyed prior to consideration of tree removal should be 5 consecutive years (rather than 2) if marine conditions indicate poor at-sea forage conditions.
  • Survival guidelines should direct land-managing agencies to use the best available scientific information to delineate higher suitable Marbled Murrelet nesting habitat on state land.

Continued habitat loss and fragmentation due to inadequate logging regulations, most dramatically on nonfederal lands, and increasingly poor oceanic conditions have resulted in a historically small and vulnerable Oregon murrelet population.

ODFW has a golden opportunity to begin the process to develop a roadmap for Marbled Murrelet recovery on state lands.  State lands contain a significant percentage of remaining high quality murrelet nesting habitat.  Without better protection on these lands, efforts to bring this species back from the brink will continue to fail.