We verified by using helicopter low-level aerial surveys the habitat classifications of air photo forest inventory (API) maps produced for Marbled Murrelet (Brachyramphus marmoratus) strategic planning initiatives of the North Coast of British Columbia. Aerial surveys are used to observe directly the forest canopy and classify its habitat quality (Nil to Very High) for potential nest platforms and other Marbled Murrelet nesting habitat attributes.The testing suggested the total amount of area deemed suitable habitat (a combination of classes Moderate, High, and Very High) was underestimated 26%. Use of the 26% adjusted, aspatial estimated suitable habitat amount for the study area is supported for broad-scale strategic planning; but aerial verification will be necessary to confirm the API classification of a given polygon for operational implementation.
Donald, David S., Waterhouse, F. Louise; Ott, Peter K.. 2018. Verification of a Marbled Murrelet Habitat Inventory in Three North Coast Landscape Units in Coastal British Columbia. Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. Research Report (FLNRORD). TR117