The Annual Murrelet Report

January 27, 2017 Posted by: Emma Johnson
Researchers on a boat using binocularsMurrelet researchers follow transects to study the abundance and distribution of murrelets in Glacier Bay. NPS Photo

From Chris Sergeant, NPS Ecologist with the Southeast Alaska Network, Inventory and Monitoring:

"The Southeast Alaska Network (SEAN) is pleased to share our 2016 annual report estimating the summertime abundance and distribution of Kittlitz's and marbled murrelets in Glacier Bay. Our surveys estimated 7,025 Kittlitz's murrelets in the main bay, which is the lowest estimate since monitoring began in 2009, but very similar to 2011 and 2013. Marbled murrelet abundance was 60,624, pretty much hovering around the eight-year average. We are continuing to work on synthesizing all of our existing monitoring data to assess general program performance and look forward to sharing that with you this year."

Kittlitz's murrelets are a rare seabird that lives in Alaska and northeast Russia. Glacier Bay is home to a significant portion of the Kittlitz's global population. Kittlitz's murrelets rely on many of the same resources as marine mammals, including humpback whales, which makes them good indicators of the health of the marine food web. Marbled murrelets are also found in significant numbers in Glacier Bay. The lifecycle of Kittlitz's murrelets is often associated with glaciers, while marbled murrelets rely on old growth forests. 

Read the complete report or find the report, all available data, and other supporting materials for download on the SEAN Kittlitz's Murrelet page.

Kittlitz's murrelet, a brown seabird
The lifecycle of the rare Kittlitz's Murrelet is closely associated with glacial ecosystems. NPS Photo

Last updated: January 27, 2017

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Gustavus, AK 99826


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