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Tenyo Maru Seabird and Education Restoration Project Updates
Date Posted: January 17, 2003Two seabird restoration projects completed their first year of work, Restoration of Common Murre Colonies in Copalis National Wildlife Refuge and Terrestrial Survey of Marbled Murrelets in the Pacific Coastal Region of the Western Olympic Peninsula and Southwest Washington.
Common Murres: The 2001 field season was the first year of the Trustee's 2-year Phase I study of the common murre restoration project. Phase I of this project is the feasibility component to assess the potential effectiveness of using social attraction techniques (murre decoys) to lure breeding birds onto the refuge islands that once supported large populations of breeding murres. Phase II would involve the deployment of social attraction devices at historical breeding colonies within the Copalis NWR. Pertinent data was collected through observations of experimental and reference nesting sites and at-sea surveys along the entire coast of Washington, specifically around five current or historic common murre nesting colonies.
Marbled Murrelets: The 2001 field season was also the first year of the Trustee's terrestrial survey of the federally threatened marbled murrelet habitat project. The project objective for this study is to conduct surveys of sites that are currently unknown or undetermined status and/or unprotected "occupied" marbled murrelet nesting habitat. Year one of the project was extremely successful in locating "occupied" stands which can now be protected by regulatory or landscape planning processes. The project goal to locate a minimum of 18 "occupied" sites for the 2-year project was almost met in 2001. We documented "occupancy" at 17 forest sites that previously were classified only as "presence" sites and therefore were not legally protected from being harvested.
Public Education: A project to provide on-site interpretation and publications along the Oregon and Washington Coasts is progressing for the Oregon Coast. The education panel provides messages of the value of protected coastal habitats, seabird colonies, mammals, why these islands and wildlife are protected, and how to avoid human disturbance. These panels will be placed at 11 port/marina sites along the Oregon coast. Discussions with the port/marina site managers occurred in December 2001 and early January 2002. All managers are enthusiastic about the panels and will allow placement adjacent to the boat ramps. In fact, the managers were so enthusiastic that they would like us to do additional interpretation in the future.