The Marbled Murrelet is a small seabird that spends most of its time at sea, usually within 0.5 km of shore. Marbled Murrelets nest as solitary pairs at low densities almost exclusively in old-growth forests, typically within 30 km of the ocean. In Canada, the Marbled Murrelet is found along the Pacific coast. The current Canadian population is estimated at 99 100 birds, which equates to about 28% of the estimated global population. The Marbled Murrelet was assessed as ?Threatened? in 2012 by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) and is Blue-listed (Special Concern) in British Columbia.
The main terrestrial threats to Marbled Murrelets include historic and ongoing loss and fragmentation of old-growth nesting habitat, resulting in insufficient functional nesting habitat, increased predation risk, and adverse changes to microclimate near forest edges.
The Marbled Murrelet is a protected migratory bird under the federal Migratory Birds Convention Act. Environment Canada posted a draft recovery strategy for the Marbled Murrelet in January 2014; the final recovery strategy, posted in June 2014, includes the partial identification of nesting critical habitat. Future amendments will include the identification of marine critical habitat.
The federal recovery strategy sets short- and long-term population and distribution objectives and identifies nesting critical habitat in British Columbia without consideration of socio-economic implications. The federal Species at Risk Act gives provincial governments first opportunity to effectively protect critical habitat under their jurisdiction. This implementation plan is key to demonstrating provincial leadership and progress on Marbled Murrelet recovery, including the provision of effective critical habitat protection.
The federal recovery strategy considers management measures for the marine environment, while this implementation plan addresses terrestrial nesting habitat and contains habitat management commitments for provincial Crown lands. In addition, British Columbia?s provincial government is committed to encouraging shared stewardship of Marbled Murrelet habitat on non-Crown lands, such as private lands (e.g., Private Managed Forest Land), First Nation lands, and municipal government lands.
Implementation plan objectives involve maximizing conservation efforts to benefit the Marbled Murrelet and supporting future recovery efforts while providing resource development opportunities. This vision provides certainty in maintaining socio-economic and environmental values that are important to both the people of British Columbia and the wider global community.
Recovery focuses on addressing immediate threats to Marbled Murrelet terrestrial habitat by halting its decline and fragmentation; the long-term goal would ensure the species has a high probability of persistence across its provincial range. The following short- and long-term population and distribution objectives are endorsed by the provincial government and will guide implementation efforts within British Columbia.
British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. 2018. Implementation Plan for the Recovery of Marbled Murrelet (Brachyramphus marmoratus) in British Columbia. Province of British Columbia. Implementation Plan (Species at Risk)
Topic: Recovery Planning
Scientific Name: Brachyramphus marmoratus
English Name: Marbled Murrelet
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