USGS Western Ecological Research Center

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Released: 2016
Loredo, SA, RM Suryan, J Adams, AJ Gladics, RA Orben, DE Lyons. 2016. TEMPORAL VARIABILITY IN THREE-DIMENSIONAL HABITAT-USE OF COMMON MURRES (URIA AALGE) OFF THE OREGON COAST. 43rd Annual Pacific Seabird Group Meeting, Oahu, HI. 10-13 Feb 2016. [Poster Presentation – Runner-up Best Student Talk, Masters Division]

The Common Murre (Uria aalge) is the most abundant of the breeding populations of seabirds along the Oregon Coast, yet little is known about the extent of its offshore distribution during the non-reproductive season and diel patterns. Furthermore, the installation of wave energy converters o↵ Oregon waters raises questions about potential interactions of this wing-propelled diving species with offshore alternative energy devices. Ship-based and aerial surveys of seabirds have provided some information, but these methods lack the ability to follow specific individuals. We address these questions by fitting individual murres with satellite transmitters and dive depth recorders throughout the year to better describe their distribution and foraging patterns. Both short-term fine-scale and long-term coarse-scale GPS tracking devices will be deployed to better capture habitat relationships in foraging techniques and maximize time-scale of habitat-use. Foraging behavior will be compared to time of day, wind patterns, tidal variations, bathymetry, chlorophyll concentrations, water temperature, and sea level pressure. The results of this study - along with transect vessel data - will improve predictive habitat-use models needed to inform marine spatial planners, and will allow development of spatial-vulnerability maps for offshore energy development in Oregon. This study is part of a larger multi-species analysis project, aimed at understanding year-round distributions of seabirds off Oregon.

This product is associated with the following project:
Seabird Vulnerability Assessment for Renewable Energy Projects

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