During October 2002, the first phase of a Marbled Murrelet (MAMU) nesting habitat identification project was initiated by CanFor on northern Vancouver Island. This phase focused on low-level aerial (helicopter) surveys to classify potential nesting habitat. A total of 231,995 ha were classified through a combination of low-level aerial reconnaissance and air photograph interpretation. A total of 66,886 ha of potential nesting habitat were identified across the study area. There were 46,110 ha of potential nesting habitat in TFL 37 and adjacent Protected Areas. There were 20,776 ha potential nesting habitat in FLA19233, T0716 and adjacent Protected Areas. Topographic diversity along a mountain appears to influence Marbled Murrelet nesting habitat quality and may also provide a visual queue to help the Marbled Murrelet locate the nest tree. Slopes with a high density of gullies seem to provide good quality potential nesting habitat. Gullies can provide areas of topographic shading on otherwise exposed slopes, easy access for Marbled Murrelets into the canopy, and shelter from hot summer winds that may desiccate arboreal moss. Streams associated with gullies may influence the microclimate by increasing the relative humidity.
Deal, John A., Smart, Brian R.. 2004. Low-level aerial assessment of potential marbled murrelet nesting habitat in TFL 37 and FLA19233, northern Vancouver Island. Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program. Forest Investment Account Report. FIA2004MR008