Seabird to remain a threatened species
The population of marbled murrelets, a seabird listed as a threatened species, is considered to be faring well enough to avoid the “endangered” species status.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) in February initially voted to list the bird as endangered, but the chair of the board was absent. Upon his return this week, the board voted 4-2 against “up-listing” the bird.
State Rep. David Brock Smith, R-Port Orford, was the last to speak at the ODFW meeting this week in opposition to the uplisting.
“It appears that the Oregon population may now be fluctuating around a new, lower baseline,” a January ODFW status report reads. “Based on this monitoring program, the Oregon population was estimated at 10,975 birds in 2015 and was likely somewhere between 8,188 and 13,762 birds. The fairly wide confidence limits for these population estimates reflect the challenges of monitoring a highly mobile seabird that is sparsely distributed.”