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CHANNEL ISLANDS NATIVE PLANT COMMUNITY HABITAT RESTORATION TO ENHANCE NESTING HABITAT FOR CASSIN’S AUKLETS (PTYCHORAMPHUS ALEUTICUS) AND SCRIPPS’S MURRELET (SYNTHLIBORAMPHUS SCRIPPSI)

Released: 2015
Citation:
Mazurkiewicz, DM, J Adams, AL Harvey, AA Yamagiwa, ME Jacques, JA Howard. 2015. CHANNEL ISLANDS NATIVE PLANT COMMUNITY HABITAT RESTORATION TO ENHANCE NESTING HABITAT FOR CASSIN’S AUKLETS (PTYCHORAMPHUS ALEUTICUS) AND SCRIPPS’S MURRELET (SYNTHLIBORAMPHUS SCRIPPSI). Pacific Seabird Group, 42nd Annual Meeting, 18-21 February 2015, San Jose, CA. [Oral Presentation]

Channel Islands National Park supports critical seabird nesting habitat in southern California. Over the last century, impacts by humans, non-native animals and plants have reduced suitable nesting habitat available to seabirds on these islands. In an effort to restore breeding habitat and improve reproductive success, extensive habitat restoration efforts have occurred over the last seven years at Scorpion Rock (Santa Cruz Island) and Santa Barbara Island (SBI). On Scorpion Rock, the removal of the Crystalline Ice Plant (Mesembryanthemum crystallinum) and outplanting of >9,000 native plants has dramatically changed the landscape. Non-native cover has decreased from >90% to <10% in maintained areas, while native shrub cover has increased >55%, thereby providing accessible, protected habitat for burrow nesting Cassin’s Auklets (Ptychoramphus aleuticus). On Santa Barbara Island (SBI), efforts have focused on restoring nesting habitat for the State threatened Scripps’s Murrelet (Synthliboramphus scrippsi) and Cassin’s Auklet. More than 25,000 native plants have been grown on SBI and outplanted in multiple restoration sites. Artificial nest boxes and social attraction have also been utilized to encourage recolonization of seabirds in historically occupied habitat. In both projects, the establishment of permanent nurseries on-island and a large volunteer component has facilitated the work. Continued success of these seabird restoration projects rely on partner collaboration, sustained efforts over multiple years, and an adaptive management approach.



This product is associated with the following project:
Summary of Seabird Studies at WERC

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