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More than 70% of coastal wetland has been developed and the beaches of Monterey Bay are heavily used by humans. Therefore, any protections offered by the Sanctuary are critical. A more insidious threat is predation of rails, Snowy Plovers and other nesting wetland species by introduced Red Foxes, against which these birds have little defense (Parker and Takekawa 1993). Offshore, Monterey Bay waters are relatively clean of pollution, although the input of agricultural chemicals from the Salinas and Pajaro rivers could be a major concern requiring further study. Also, the effects of domoic acid may prove to be important (Work et al. 1993). The major concern in offshore waters is competition for food between marine birds and iconmammals and arobust commercial fishing industry (Ainley and Hunt 1991, Ainley et al. 1994). Particularly important to seabirds are the fisheries for squid and rockfish. Finally, the Marbled Murrelet depends on, and occur offshore of, the coastal, old growth redwoods that border thenorthern portion of the MBNMS (Ainley et al. 1995b). Protection for these must be continued. The confined, nearshore ocean area where the murrelets occur(Figure 5a & 5b), just inshore of a major shipping channel, renders this entire population exceedingly vulnerable to even a single major oil pollution event (Carter and Erickson 1992, Page et al. 1990); the next closest population is 350 km to the north (Ainley et al. 1995b).


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URL: http://montereybay.noaa.gov/sitechar/bird4.html    Reviewed: March 05, 2014
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