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The Kittlitz’s Murrelet is a small, non-colonial seabird endemic to marine waters of Alaska and eastern Russia.



    Kittlitz's Murrelet floating in preferred habitat.
    Identifying Kittlitz’s Murrelet nesting habitat in North America

    The Kittlitz’s Murrelet is a small, non-colonial seabird endemic to marine waters of Alaska and eastern Russia that may have experienced significant population decline in recent decades, in part because of low reproductive success that could be due to terrestrial threats. Although recent study has shed new light on Kittlitz’s Murrelet nesting habitat in a few discrete areas, the location and extent of other possible nesting areas throughout most of their range remains unclear. We 1) compiled all known nest records and locations, 2) characterized nesting habitat in North America at the landscape scale, and 3) produced maps of potentially suitable nesting habitat that could be useful to managers in guiding conservation directives (e.g. reducing human disturbance in areas of potential nesting habitat) and providing researchers with a meaningful starting point for discovering and sampling new nesting areas.

    Examples of Kittlitz's Murrelet nest site on Kodiak Island, AK
    Figure 1: Examples of Kittlitz’s Murrelet (Brachyramphus brevirostris) nest sites on Kodiak Island (A; photo credit: M.J. Lawonn), near Icy Bay (B, C; photo credit M.L. Kissling), and in Aleutian Islands (D, E; photo credit R.S.A. Kaler). 

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