Research Technical Report
BEACHCOMBERS: Using Surveys Of Beached Marine Birds To Investigate Natural And Human-Related The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, 1997-2004
Nevins, H., J. Harvey, S. Benson, A. DeVolgelaere, S. Bartl, D. Jessup, and J. Ames (March 2005)
Poster presentation at the 2005 Sanctuary Currents Symposium, Seaside, CA
Since 1997, trained volunteers have conducted monthly beached bird and mammal surveys in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Using standardized survey methods, we have obtained baseline rates of deposition (birds km-1mo.-1) of beached birds and identified unusual mortality events related to human activities (e.g. fishery bycatch, oil spills) and natural phenomena (e.g. starvation events). We maintain a network of scientists, researchers and resource managers to enable early detection and investigation of mortality events. We documented sources of mortality affecting resident species, including Common Murre (Uria aalge) and Brandt's Cormorant (Phalacrocorax penicullatus); and migratory species, including Sooty Shearwaters (Puffinus griseus), Northern Fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis), loons (Gavia spp.), grebes (Aechmophorus spp.), and gulls (Larus spp.). We also report on our efforts to disseminate information to the public and educational institutions via teacher workshops and web-based information systems.