Marbled Murrelet Monitoring
The marbled murrelet is a seabird that spends most of its life in coastal waters, while nesting primarily in the trees of late-successional and old-growth forests. The marbled murrelet monitoring program assesses status and trends in marbled murrelet populations and nesting habitat to answer the basic questions:
- Are the marbled murrelet populations associated with the Northwest Forest Plan area stable, increasing, or decreasing?
- Is the Plan maintaining and restoring marbled murrelet nesting habitat?
Murrelet monitoring is an interagency cooperative effort. We monitor marbled murrelet population size and trends by annual sampling of populations in near-shore waters, using a standardized, boat-based line transect method. Trends in the amount and quality of nesting habitat in the Plan area are evaluated periodically using habitat suitability models applied to current vegetation maps developed by the Late-Successional and Old Growth Forest monitoring program.