Tell ODFW: Save Marbled Murrelets from Extinction

In Wildlife & Wildlands by OLCVstaff

The marbled murrelet is one of Oregon’s most extraordinary and mysterious seabirds, and one of our most at risk. At its current rate, the marbled murrelet is in danger of going extinct within the next century. And, yet, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) voted against listing marbled murrelets as endangered. Send a message to ODFW and ask them to give the marbled murrelet the protection it needs.

Like their cousin the puffin, murrelets spend most of their year in the ocean, catching fish and small invertebrates. But, when summer nesting season comes around, marbled murrelets fly inland–far, far inland. They build their nests exclusively in Oregon’s old-growth forests, high in the mossy limbs of Douglas fir, western hemlock, and Sitka spruce. There, they lay just one egg per year. Once the chick is safely hatched, they return to the ocean, and the cycle continues. Some fly more than 30 miles inland to find suitable stands of old-growth.

Habitat destruction is one of the main factors putting marbled murrelets at risk. Less than 10% of Oregon’s old-growth forests remain intact, and it can take more than 150 years for younger forests to show old-growth characteristics. Changing the marbled murrelet’s status from threatened to endangered means critical nesting areas are preserved, helping save many of our old-growth forests from logging.

ODFW was once in favor of uplisting the murrelet from threatened to endangered status. But, just four months later, after a change in membership, ODFW changed their minds without any explanation or scientific basis. Now, the court is holding ODFW accountable for illegally switching their decision without justification. We need your help to keep holding them accountable. Please send a quick email to ODFW asking them to follow science and protect our native wildlife.

The scientific evidence is clear–marbled murrelets will go extinct in the foreseeable future if we don’t take action now. And it’s more important than ever that we stand up for our endangered species here in Oregon–at a time when Trump is dismantling the Endangered Species Act on the national level, it’s up to states to protect imperiled species and the habitats they depend on.

If we don’t act soon, the marbled murrelet will someday become extinct here in Oregon. This magnificent seabird needs our help. Please send a message to ODFW today, and encourage them to uplist the marbled murrelet from threatened to endangered.