Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program
FIA Project Y073061

    Habitat use by Marbled Murrelets on southwest Vancouver Island and implications for forest management
Project lead: Burger, Alan
Contributing Authors: Burger, Alan E.; Ronconi, Robert A.; Cragg, Jenna L.; Page, Richard E.; Haynes, Trevor B.
Imprint: Victoria, BC : University of Victoria, 2007
Subject: Forest Investment Account (FIA), Marbled Murrelet, British Columbia
Series: Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program
Program: Sustainability. Theme: 4.0 Scientific information to inform policy, regulations and Forest and Range Practices Act requirements. Topic: 4.1 Species at Risk – Recovery Research (Marbled Murrelet critical habitat requirements) The project will continue in 2005-06 as proposed in the original LOI and full proposal (Feb 2004). The overall goals are to use a combination of radar counts, forest cover and other inland habitat data, and marine parameters to explain habitat use and spatial distributions of the threatened Marbled Murrelet nesting in old seral forests on southwest Vancouver Island, and to apply these results to the entire BC range of murrelets. The 5 primary objectives remain the same: 1. Complete radar surveys on SW Vancouver Island. Our work in 2004 provided a solid basis of radar counts at >30 watersheds, but replicate surveys are needed to deal with seasonal and annual variability in the count data, and accurately map flight paths and catchment areas. Audio-visual observations and records of potential predators will also be made to help interpret radar data and assess threats from predation. Our radar data will be added to the BC-wide database set up to allow long-term monitoring and large-scale spatial and habitat analyses. 2. Complete a GIS database of inland habitat on SW Vancouver Island. Some forest cover data are in our database, but delays in the 2004 FSP grant delayed this project. A GIS expert will be hired in Nov 2004 and data collation involving industry partners will proceed through 2005-06. 3. Analyse landscape-level habitat analysis of radar-sampled watersheds. Using data from objectives 1 & 2, our team will determine which habitat parameters best explain the numbers and distribution of murrelets, and will also derive densities (birds/ha of habitat) to be applied to habitat management of murrelets in BC. Effects of forest fragmentation will also be investigated. 4. Analyse and model inland and marine parameters affecting murrelets. Rob Ronconi will complete his spatial analysis and modeling to predict factors driving murrelet distributions on SW Vancouver Island, and will undertake a second field season to examine the underlying causes of this distribution. The project covers both landscape-level and fine-scale (<1 km) factors. 5. Apply our results to the management of murrelets and timber lands. We will continue to provide data, reports, extension notes and management information to the forest industry, governments and Marbled Murrelet Recovery Team to improve the selection and management of nesting habitat for murrelets while minimizing disruption to timber supply. We work closely with the Recovery Team, providing data essential for meeting SARA requirements for murrelets.
Related projects:  FSP_Y051061FSP_Y062061


Final report: Habitat use by Marbled Murrelets… (0.1Mb)
Report: Habitat use and behavior of the Pacific sand lance... (0.2Mb)

To view PDF documents you need Adobe Acrobat Reader, available free from the Adobe Web Site.

Updated August 16, 2010 

Search for other  FIA reports or other Ministry of Forests and Range publications.

Please direct questions or comments regarding publications to