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A number of offshore rocks and islands within Oregon Islands NWR are research sites, prized for their relatively undisturbed habitat and wildlife. Many of these sites see virtually zero human interference outside of specially-trained researchers—and even then, the disturbance is intermittent and as minimal as possible. Seabird monitoring via helicopter and plane, on-the-ground monitoring of nests and chicks, plant surveys, and invasive predator removal are all projects conducted in the past or currently underway at this refuge.

Goat Island Leach's Storm-petrel Monitoring via remote-sensor cameras

Populations of burrow-nesting seabirds such as Leach’s Storm-petrels are notoriously difficult to monitor because of limited access of remote offshore islands and concern for researcher impacts on colonies. Off the coast of Oregon, the abundance of nesting Leach’s Storm-petrels on some islands has changed by orders of magnitude over the past decade, increasing the need for effective but low-impact population monitoring. Dr. Rob Suryan of Oregon State University (OSU) and colleagues are developing and testing minimally invasive techniques to monitor nesting populations of Leach’s Storm-petrels by comparing remote recording devices to traditional methods of determining nesting density.    

Cape Perpetua Seabird Monitoring 

A survey of seabirds at Cape Perpetua Marine Reserve/Marine Protected Area (MR/MPA) during the summer of 2014. A collaborative effort between U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, OSU's Seabird Oceanography Lab, and volunteers, this citizen science effort aims to establish baseline data on nearshore, fish-eating seabird populations within the Cape Perpetua MR/MPA.  

Get the summary report here. (PDF 2.4 MB)

Haystack Rock Tufted Puffin Study  

One of the Oregon coast's most beloved seabirds is in trouble. For decades Tufted Puffin populations have declined in the southern portion of their range; in 2008 only 142 puffins were counted along the entire Oregon coast. This citizen science-led population assessment tracks Tufted Puffin at their breeding colony on Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach, combining observations from the beach and from the air.

Click here for a summary report of this study. (PDF 1.5 MB)

Yaquina Head Common Murre Monitoring 

Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area (YHONA) is home to some of Oregon's largest seabird colonies, including more than 60,000 Common Murres. This study, led by OSU's Dr. Rob Suryan in collaboration with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Bureau of Land Management, endeavors to determine how seabird breeding and behavior are affected by changing ocean conditions. Also of interest is the effect of Bald Eagle predation and disturbance on seabird colonies and reproductive success at YHONA.

A summary report is available here. (PDF 715 KB)

Catalog of Oregon Seabird Colonies

Compiled by USFWS and its partners and released in 2007, you can download this entire biological/technical publication in six parts:

Table of Contents (PDF 50 KB)

Introduction (PDF 662 KB)

Methods (PDF 303 KB)

How to Use the Catalog (PDF 267 KB) 

Catalogs (PDF 933 KB)

Literature Cited (PDF 302 KB)