USGS Western Ecological Research Center

Home Who We Are Where We Are What We Do Products Search Outreach Jobs Contacts

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

Released: 2016
Citation:
Mazurkiewicz, D.M., J. Adams, A.E. Little, A.A. Yamagiwa, J.A. Howard & M.-E. Jacques. NATIVE PLANT COMMUNITY HABITAT RESTORATION ON THE CHANNEL ISLANDS TO ENHANCE NESTING HABITAT FOR SCRIPPS’S MURRELET (SYNTHLIBORAMPHUS SCRIPPSI) AND CASSIN’S AUKLETS (PTYCHORAMPHUS ALEUTICUS), 43rd Annual Meeting Pacific Seabird Group, Turtle Bay Resort, Oahu HI. 10-13 Feb 2016. [Spoken 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 decade at Santa Barbara Island (SBI) and Scorpion Rock (Santa Cruz Island). 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 30,000 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 2015, five pairs of murrelets successfully nested in the restoration sites. 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:
Seabird Vulnerability Assessment for Renewable Energy Projects

Bookmark and Share

Share


Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo USA.gov logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Page Contact Information: webmaster@werc.usgs.gov

References to non-U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) products do not constitute an endorsement by the DOI.

* DOI and USGS link policies apply.