Marine Reserves News: For the Birds - Diving Into Seabird Research

A Deeper Dive

For The Birds: Diving Into Seabird Research

seabird monitoring


Although fish often get more attention, seabirds are also an important component of the nearshore ocean ecosystem. The central Oregon coast is a hotspot for seabird nesting and foraging. This hotspot is one of the reasons why the Cape Perpetua Marine Reserve includes a Seabird Protection Area which restricts the harvest of forage fish known to be a primary food source for many seabirds.

Beyond marine research conducted by the ODFW Marine Reserves Program, the Cape Perpetua Marine Reserve and surrounding area has attracted additional research that is helping us learn more about the nearshore ecosystem and informing ocean management. Dr. Rob Suryan, from Oregon State University and Joe Liebezeit, of the Audubon Society have been involved in conducting seabird research in and around the Cape Perpetua Marine Reserve. Rob and Joe describe their respective research projects in two guest news posts. In addition, Cape Perpetua was a primary study site for a recently completed winter seabird and marine mammal pilot study. This joint research effort between ODFW, US Fish and Wildlife, Crescent Coastal Research and The Nature Conservancy characterized distribution of seabirds and marine mammals during the winter months. Visit our website to learn more about these seabird research efforts.


Ecological Monitoring: Spring is a busy time of year for field work. The ODFW Marine Reserves Program kicked off the field season on April 1, starting with video lander surveys at Cascade Head. Other efforts this month will include SCUBA diver training at Redfish Rocks and deployment of SMURF gear for juvenile fish recruitment surveys at Redfish Rocks and Otter Rock in mid-April (read more about SMURF surveys here). Hook and line surveys will begin in the latter half of the month at Cascade Head.

Human Dimensions Research: We’re pleased to announce the recent completion of a sociological study evaluating the impacts of marine reserves — understanding social change and uncertainty in fishing communities. This was a joint project between the ODFW Marine Reserves Program and Dr. Beth Marino of Oregon State University (OSU)-Cascades. Dr. Marino presented preliminary results to the Ocean Policy Advisory Council at their most recent meeting on April 5th. A final report will be available on the Oregon Marine Reserves website in early summer. Additionally, Dr. Kreg Lindberg, also of OSU – Cascades, recently presented the results of a pilot study looking at coastal resident’s wellbeing and resilience in the face of change (read our earlier news post for more information on this study). This project was funded by Sea Grant with additional support provided by the ODFW Marine Reserves Program. The results of this pilot study were presented at several recent conferences and at a symposium at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport. A report will be coming out this summer.