The Marbled Murrelet Project; Lead PI - Jim Rivers
In 2015 the Marbled Murrelet project was funded by the Oregon State Goverment under strong recommendations by timber industry interests. The study was undertaken to disentangle the respective impact of forest habitat degradation and a reduction in sea forage quality. The murrelet is a small seabird that nests in tall mature trees with large platform branches covered by moss and within 50 miles of the Pacific coast. The birds spend most of their life cycle in the ocean, but forage in the ocean and nest inland when breeding. Clear-cut forest harvest is known to degrade murrelet habitat and encourage murrelet predators, including corvids, hawks and eagles. The study involves intensive capture and monitoring at sea and forest nesting sites. The project was funded at $1.3 million each year and continues into 2020.