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Marbled Murrelets in Oregon

Marbled Murrelet
Photo by
U.S. Forest Service Martin Raphael

About the Marbled Murrelet

The Marbled Murrelet (Brachyramphus marmoratus) is a small seabird that breeds along the Pacific Coast from Alaska to central California.

Marbled Murrelets spend most of their lives in marine waters and forage at sea on small fish and invertebrates. However, they are unique in that they fly inland (sometimes considerable distances) for nesting and depend upon old growth and coastal late-successional forests for nest sites.

The Marbled Murrelet was listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act in 1992 and threatened under the Oregon Endangered Species Act in 1995. The species is currently listed as state-endangered in both Washington and California.

ODFW Initiates Status Review for Marbled Murrelet

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) has initiated a review of the biological status of the Marbled Murrelet in Oregon.

This status review is in response to a petition received by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission (Commission) on June 21, 2016 from Cascadia Wildlands, the Center for Biological Diversity, Coast Range Forest Watch, Oregon Wild, the Audubon Society of Portland, and the Oregon Chapter of the Sierra Club. The petition requests that the Marbled Murrelet be reclassified from threatened to endangered (uplisted) under the Oregon Endangered Species Act.

At its meeting on September 2, 2016, the Commission determined that the petition contained substantial scientific information to initiate a Marbled Murrelet status review for Oregon. The Commission is required to make a final determination on whether reclassification of the Marbled Murrelet is warranted within one year from the date of receipt of the petition (i.e., by June 21, 2017); the Commission may extend this deadline for up to 12 additional months if the Commission determines that the information available is limited or other appropriate circumstances require the extension.

ODFW will use documented and verifiable scientific information or other best available data in the status review. As part of the review process, ODFW is soliciting information from the scientific community and public on Marbled Murrelet biology, population trends and demographics, marine and terrestrial habitat conditions, threats, and the adequacy of state or federal programs or regulations.

Information will be accepted through April 7, 2017. Information may be submitted by email or by mail to ODFW, Marbled Murrelet, 4034 Fairview Industrial Drive SE, Salem, OR 97302. Note that information submitted, including names and addresses, may become part of the public record.

Opportunity for Public Comment

The public will have the opportunity to comment on the draft status review report and to offer testimony at Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting briefings that will be announced ahead of time.

Once the status review report is ready for public review, it will be posted to this webpage and to the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission’s webpage. If you would like to be notified of upcoming Commission meetings, you can sign up to receive meeting schedules electronically. If you are interested in general updates on the Marbled Murrelet status review process, send your name and contact information to ODFW.

Upcoming Meetings

June 9, 2017 – Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission Meeting, Salem

Agenda Item: Marbled Murrelet Status Review Update and Request for Extension

Description: ODFW staff will outline progress to date and proposed next steps on the Marbled Murrelet status review. The Commission will be asked to approve a 12-month extension to allow completion of the status review report and associated rulemaking process by June 21, 2018.

Additional Resources

Questions? Contact the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife at or 503-947-6301.

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