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Common Murre Restoration Project

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Restoration of Common Murre Colonies in Central California: Annual Report 2016

Bednar, C.M., G.J. McChesney, J.A. Windsor, R.J. Potter, A.C. Wilson, A.R. Fuller, P.J. Capitolo, and R.T. Golightly (January 2018)

Unpublished report, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service


Efforts in 2016 were the 21st year of restoration and associated monitoring of central California seabird colonies by the Common Murre Restoration Project (CMRP). This project was initiated in 1996 with the goal to restore breeding colonies of seabirds, especially those of Common Murres (Uria aalge), that were harmed by the 1986 Apex Houston oil spill, as well as by gill net fishing and other impacts. Subsequent to the original Apex Houston settlement funds, the project was supported by settlement funds from the 1998 Command and extended Luckenbach oil spills. From 1995 to 2005, the primary goals were to restore the previously extirpated Devil’s Slide Rock (DSR) colony using social attraction techniques, and to assess restoration needs at additional central California colonies. Since 2005, standardized procedures for the surveillance and assessment of human disturbance at central California Common Murre colonies have been incorporated into daily survey methods. Additionally, the outcome of initial recolonization efforts at DSR and recovery of other central California murre colonies continues to be monitored. The human disturbance assessments were used to inform outreach, education and regulatory efforts by the Seabird Protection Network (SPN; coordinated by the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary) and allow for evaluation of the success of those efforts. The goal of the SPN is to protect central California seabird breeding colonies primarily through reduction of human disturbance, which also enhances the restoration of previously injured colonies.

Citation: Bednar, C.M., G.J. McChesney, J.A. Windsor, R.J. Potter, A.C. Wilson, A.R. Fuller, P.J. Capitolo, and R.T. Golightly. 2018. Restoration of Common Murre colonies in central California: annual report 2016. Unpublished report, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Complex, Fremont, California and Humboldt State University, Department of Wildlife, Arcata, California. 75 pages.