Published March 13, 2018 at 08:16PM
Bird no longer a threatened species
There’s good news and bad news this week about the status of the iconic marbled murrelet.
The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission announced the good news: The coastal bird has been relisted from being a threatened species to an endangered one.
The bad? Circumstances that led to the new listing.
Now the state will have to draft survival guidelines and a management plan to ensure the seabird survives — and thrives — in Oregon.
The murrelet was first listed as a threatened species 23 years ago, and the petition to “uplist” the bird began in 2016 by Cascadia Wildlands, Oregon Wild, Coast Range Forest Watch, the Center for Biological Diversity, the Audubon Society of Portland and the Oregon Chapter of the Sierra Club.
Marbled murrelets are dove-sized seabirds that range along the North American coast from southeastern Alaska to Northern California. They forage in marine waters, usually within a few miles of shore, dive for schooling fish such as sand lance, anchovy or herring, and like puffins or murres, their close relatives, they are characterized by a stubby bodies and wings. Unlike puffins or murres, they do not form breeding colonies, nesting nowhere near rocky headlands or islands.