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Marbled Murrelets: The Enigma of the Pacific

Marbeled Murrelet; © Brett Lovelace
Marbeled Murrelet; © Brett Lovelace

The Marbled Murrelet (Brachyramphus marmoratus) is a small, cryptic seabird with a range extending from northern California up through Alaska. Like other alcids, murrelets forage in the ocean and exclusively inhabit marine environments when not breeding.

Whereas most other alcids nest in large groups near the coast, murrelets typically nest solitarily on the limbs of large trees in forest sites that can be located over 50 miles inland. Unfortunately, this split habitat strategy renders them vulnerable to declines in habitat quality in both oceans and forests. In 1992 Marbled Murrelets were listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Challenges associated with capturing murrelets and locating their nests have made them extremely difficult to study. A lack of basic knowledge about murrelet biology has hindered progress on conservation and management.

Dr. Jonathon Valente is a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Oregon State University College of Forestry. He is currently working on the Oregon Marbled Murrelet Project, a scientific research effort launched in 2015 to advance our knowledge about basic murrelet biology. Dr. Valente will discuss how their research team is using cutting edge technology to better understand murrelet habitat requirements, movement, and limitations to population growth, as well as how this research will be used to improve management of public and private forest lands.

You must register (no cost) in advance for this program. It is NOT a requirement that you be an Audubon member to attend. Follow this link to register:

Zoom limits the number of participants to 100. 

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Registrants will receive email updates about this online event, as well as periodic email updates about Yolo Audubon’s conservation work and how you can help birds. (You can unsubscribe at any time.)

Please note: Participants must have the Zoom desktop client downloaded on their computer or on their Apple or Android mobile phone or tablet to access the meeting. An account with Zoom is not necessary to join a meeting.

Visit to learn how to join a Zoom meeting. You may email Yolo Audubon Program Chair Ken Ealy before the meeting if you need assistance.