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Marine Pollution Bulletin

Entangled Seabird and Marine Mammal Reports from Citizen Science Surveys from Coastal California (1997–2017)

Donnelly-Greenan, E.L., H.M. Nevins, and J.T. Harvey (December 2019)

Marine Pollution Bulletin 149:e110557
DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2019.110557


Marine fauna in the California Current System is susceptible to entanglement in anthropogenic debris. We examined beach survey data from six California counties to describe trends of entangled marine birds and mammals (1997–2017). Surveyors reported 357 cases of entanglements among 65,604 carcasses. Monterey County had the greatest average entanglement rate (0.007) of surveyed counties, however, was not statistically different from Santa Cruz (p > 0.05). Twenty-six seabird species (97%) and three marine mammal species (3%), and three non-marine birds were affected. Numerically, Common Murre (23%), Brandt's Cormorant (13%), Western Gull (9.6%), Sooty Shearwater (8%) and Brown Pelican (7%) were the most affected due to abundance, but their entanglement rates were not statistically different (p > 0.05). The most vulnerable species were those frequently documented as entanglement despite low deposition numbers (Merganser spp. 25%). Entangling material consisted primarily of monofilament line (some hooks/lures), but other entanglement items were reported.

Suggested Citation:

Donnelly-Greenan, E.L., H.M. Nevins, and J.T. Harvey. 2019. Entangled seabird and marine mammal reports from citizen science surveys from coastal California (1997–2017). Marine Pollution Bulletin 149:e110557. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2019.110557


Reviewed: April 11, 2024
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