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Sample records for auklet ptychoramphus aleuticus

  1. Plastic in Cassin's Auklets (Ptychoramphus aleuticus) from the 2014 stranding on the Northeast Pacific Coast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Floren, Hannah P; Shugart, Gary W

    2017-04-15

    Oceanic plastic debris found in the digestive tracts of seabirds includes industrial plastic pellets and post-consumer user plastics. We examined whether the amount and type of plastic ingested by Cassin's Auklets (Ptychoramphus aleuticus) is changing by surveying the stomach contents of 171 Cassin's Auklets stranded along the Washington and Oregon coasts in 2014. We found that 41.5% of the birds contained plastic in their ventriculi, similar to values from the North Subarctic Pacific reported in the 1980s. Industrial pellets were found in 22.8% of our samples, and accounted for 28.1% of all the plastic pieces found. Industrial pellets tended to be larger than pieces of user plastic and accounted for 40.2% of total plastic weight. These industrial pellets were significantly smaller than those found in other species, suggesting either that Cassin's Auklets selected smaller plastic particles or that plastic was retained in ventriculi and worn down. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Pathology of Common Murres and Cassin's Auklets exposed to oil. [Ptychoramphus aleuticus; Uria aalge

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fry, D.M.; Lowenstine, L.J.

    1985-11-01

    The histopathology of diving seabirds exposed to oil is described. Cassins Auklets (Ptychoramphus aleuticus) were experimentally exposed to weathered Santa Barbara Channel (CA) crude oil by external application to the breast plumage or wings. Beached Common Murres (Uria aalge) were recovered from an accidental oil spill of bunker C fuel oil. Exposed birds exhibited hepatocellular dissociation and hemosiderosis, renal tubular necrosis, and hemolytic anemia. Both unexposed and exposed birds exhibited numerous gastrointestinal lesions and parasites making interpretation of oil damage effects to the gastrointestinal system difficult. Burrow nesting auklets had a high incidence of pneumoconiosis while cliff nesting murres had no particulate inclusions on lungs. The results describe the extent of pathology to be expected in wild, free living seabirds.

  3. Factors influencing the at-sea distribution of Cassin's Auklets (Ptychoramphus aleuticus) that breed in the Channel Islands, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Josh; Takekawa, John Y.; Carter, Harry R.; Yee, Julie L.

    2010-01-01

    We used radiotelemetry to evaluate at-sea habitat use by Cassin's Auklets (Ptychoramphus aleuticus) that bred at Prince Island, off southern California, from 1999 through 2001. We used logistic regression to compare paired radiotelemetry (presence) with random (pseudo-absence) location-associated habitat variables derived from (1) satellite remote-sensing of sea surface temperature and chlorophyll-a concentration and (2) bathymetry. Compared with random locations within their foraging area and after controlling for distance to colony, odds ratios indicated that Cassin's Auklets with dependent young occurred in relatively shallower, warmer, and chlorophyll-rich water associated with chlorophyll fronts near the insular shelf break. These oceanographic features characterize habitats that support key euphausiid prey (e.g., Thysanoessa spinifera) and also other krill predators. Radiotelemetry combined with satellite remote-sensing of the ocean provides an alternative to vessel-based surveys for evaluating seabird foraging habitats. In the absence of information on the actual distribution, abundance, and, hence, availability of Zooplankton prey for seabirds, environmental factors can serve as proxies to help elucidate distributional patterns of seabirds at sea.

  4. Energy expenditure and food requirement of Cassin's Auklets provisioning nestlings

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hodum, PJ; Sydeman, WJ; Visser, GH; Weathers, WW

    We used the doubly-labeled water technique to measure the field metabolic rate (FMR) of free-ranging adult Cassin's Auklets (Ptychoramphus aleuticus) that were provisioning half-grown nestlings. FMR averaged 3.68 +/- 0.38 mL CO(2) g(-1) hr(-1) (n = 9), which is equivalent to a daily energy

  5. Planktivorous auklet Ptychoramphus aleuticus responses to ocean climate, 2005: Unusual atmospheric blocking?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sydeman, William J.; Bradley, Russell W.; Warzybok, Pete; Abraham, Christine L.; Jahncke, Jaime; Hyrenbach, K. David; Kousky, Vernon; Hipfner, J. Mark; Ohman, Mark D.

    2006-10-01

    In spring-summer 2005, anomalous atmospheric-oceanographic coupling caused unprecedented reproductive failures and redistribution of a planktivorous marine bird in both central California (37°N) and southern British Columbia (50°N). At SE Farallon Island, CA, the birds abandoned the breeding colony en masse between 10-20 May, a unique behavioral response; for the first time in 35 years, reproductive success was zero. At Triangle Island, B.C., only 8% of the nesting pairs were successful, the worst year on record. Surveys of birds at sea revealed a peak in relative abundance south of Point Conception (34°N) in summer and fall, suggestive of emigration from the north. Prey (euphausiid crustacean) biomass in the Gulf of the Farallones was reduced, but remained high south of Point Conception. Change in predator and prey may be explained, in part, by unusual atmospheric blocking in the Gulf of Alaska in May, which caused the jet stream to shift southwards resulting in poor upwelling-favorable winds and anomalously warm SST. This study demonstrates the deleterious consequences of this climate event for a top marine predator in the central-northern California Current System.

  6. Variation in zooplankton prey distribution determines marine foraging distributions of breeding Cassin's Auklet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertram, Douglas F.; Mackas, David L.; Welch, David W.; Boyd, W. Sean; Ryder, John L.; Galbraith, Moira; Hedd, April; Morgan, Ken; O'Hara, Patrick D.

    2017-11-01

    To investigate the causal basis for patterns of seabird foraging distributions during breeding we integrated data from ship-board seabird and zooplankton surveys, aerial radio telemetry, and colony-based research programs. We examined the marine distributions of Cassin's Auklet (Ptychoramphus aleuticus) breeding on Triangle Island, in the Northeast Pacific off the coast of B.C., Canada using surveys conducted in 1999, 2000, and 2001. Concurrently, we sampled zooplankton at 16 stations along a cross shelf transect in the vicinity of Triangle Island. In 1999 and 2000, when populations of the preferred copepod prey Neocalanus cristatus were available at deep-water stations (1000-2000 m), the majority of the auklets were concentrated SW of the colony 40-75 km offshore and parallel to, but 35 -50 km beyond the shelf break in deep water (1200-2000 m). Birds did not fly farther out to sea to where prey was five times more abundant when N. cristatus could be found at lower abundance levels, closer to the colony. In 2001, N. cristatus were virtually absent at the deep-water stations, likely as a result of massive salp (family Salpidae) aggregations which may have consumed and displaced the seabirds' preferred prey. We demonstrate that while birds were still able to locate and provision chicks with N. cristatus in 2001, they had to forage farther away from the colony in order to do so. Our telemetry results are generally consistent with analyses of at-sea distributions of Cassin's Auklets derived from ship-board surveys (1990-2010) both of which have contributed to the design of the proposed Scott Islands marine National Wildlife Area, the first of its kind in Canada.

  7. Prenuptial perfume: Alloanointing in the social rituals of the crested auklet ( Aethia cristatella) and the transfer of arthropod deterrents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Douglas, Hector D.

    2008-01-01

    Alloanointing, the transfer of chemicals between conspecifics, is known among mammals, but hitherto, the behavior has not been documented for birds. The crested auklet ( Aethia cristatella), a colonial seabird of Alaskan and Siberian waters, alloanoints during courtship with fragrant aldehydes that are released from specialized wick-like feathers located in the interscapular region. Crested auklets solicit anointment at the colony, and prospective mates rub bill, breast, head, and neck over wick feathers of their partners. This distributes aldehydes over the head, neck, and face where the birds cannot self-preen. The resulting chemical concentrations are sufficient to deter ectoparasites. Auklets that emit more odorant can transfer more defensive chemicals to mates and are thus more sexually attractive. Behavioral studies showed that crested auklets are attracted to their scent. Wild birds searched for dispensers that emitted their scent and rubbed their bills on the dispensers and engaged in vigorous anointment behaviors. In captive experiments, naïve crested auklets responded more strongly to synthetic auklet scent than controls, and the greatest behavioral response occurred during early courtship. This study extends scientific knowledge regarding functions of alloanointing. Alloanointing had previously been attributed to scent marking and individual recognition in vertebrates. Alloanointing is described here in the context of an adaptive social cue — the transfer of arthropod deterrents between prospective mates.

  8. Low incidence of plastics in food loads delivered to nestlings by a zooplanktivorous seabird over a 21-year period.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hipfner, J M; Studholme, K R; Galbraith, M

    2017-08-15

    We quantified the amount of plastic found in food loads delivered to nestlings in Cassin's Auklet (Ptychoramphus aleuticus), a small, zooplanktivorous seabird, on Triangle Island, British Columbia, in 1996-2016. The density of plastic in surrounding waters is moderately high, yet few food loads contained any plastic (3 of 850), and none more than two pieces. That result accords well with previous observations on the other four North Pacific auklets (Aethia spp.), leading us to conclude that true auklets rarely transfer plastic to nestlings. However, many hatch-year Cassin's Auklets found dead in coastal British Columbia, Washington and Oregon during the mass mortality event of fall and winter 2014-15 had plastic in their ventriculi. We suggest that these plastic particles would have been obtained at sea after fledging, perhaps while the birds transited south through a region of high plastic density off the west coast of Vancouver Island, Washington and Oregon. Crown Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Ecological factors differentially affect mercury levels in two species of sympatric marine birds of the North Pacific

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hipfner, J.M.; Hobson, K.A.; Elliott, J.E.

    2011-01-01

    In 2003 and 2004, we measured mercury concentrations and δ 15 N and δ 13 C values in the whole blood of adults of two species of seabirds, Cassin's auklet (Ptychoramphus aleuticus) and rhinoceros auklet (Cerorhinca monocerata), during their prelaying, incubation, and provisioning periods. We also collected whole blood from the offspring of both seabirds. Among prey items, δ 15 N values were higher in fish than in crustaceans, while δ 13 C did not vary systematically between prey types. Mercury concentrations in prey showed little relationship with either stable isotope. In the zooplanktivorous Cassin's auklet, year, reproductive stage, and δ 15 N and δ 13 C stable isotope values explained only 14% of the variation in mercury concentrations in adult blood, and none of these variables had a statistically significant effect. In contrast, these same variables explained 41% of the variation in mercury levels in the more piscivorous rhinoceros auklet, and all but δ 15 N values had statistically significant effects. Mercury concentrations in adult rhinoceros auklets were higher in 2003 than in 2004; higher prior to laying than during the incubation or provisioning periods; and increased with δ 13 C values - but in just one of two years. In both species, mercury concentrations were substantially higher in adults than in nestlings. Our results accord with previous studies in showing that mercury concentrations can vary among years, species and age classes, while the marked variation with reproductive stage is noteworthy because it is so rarely considered. Our results may help to explain the disparate conclusions of previous studies: while many factors influence mercury concentrations in marine predators, they apparently do so in a manner that defies easy characterization. We believe that there is a need for more studies that consider a range of physiological, ecological and behavioral factors that might affect mercury burdens in marine predators. - Research

  10. Massive Mortality of a Planktivorous Seabird in Response to a Marine Heatwave: A Citizen Science Case-study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, T.; Parrish, J.; MacCready, P.; Peterson, W. T.; Bjorkstedt, E.; Bond, N. A.; Ballance, L. T.; Bowes, V.; Hipfner, J. M.; Lindquist, K.; Lindsey, J.; Nevins, H. M.; Burgess, H. K.; Robertson, R.; Roletto, J.; Wilson, L.; Joyce, T. W.; Harvey, J.

    2017-12-01

    Citizen science data collection is a powerful tool for documenting mass mortality events, as they often occur without warning and can be extensive in space, precluding standard methods of data collection. The Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team (COASST) is one such citizen science program that specializes in the collection of information on beachcast seabird abundance and identity. Using the COASST dataset, in combination with federal monitoring data and novel modeling techniques, we investigated the 2014/15 mass mortality event of Cassin's Auklets (Ptychoramphus aleuticus), a small zooplanktivorous seabird, that occurred during the largest marine heatwave (MHW) ever recorded - the NE Pacific MHW of 2014-2016. Estimated at 275,000-530,000 birds, or 11% of the global adult population, and spanning 2,000 km of the North American Pacific coastline, this marine bird die-off is among the largest ever recorded. Carcass deposition followed an effective reduction in the energy content of zooplankton, coincident with the loss of cold-water foraging habitat caused by the intrusion of the NE Pacific MHW. Models examining interannual variability in effort-controlled carcass abundance (2001-2014) identified the biomass of lipid-poor zooplankton as the primary predictor of increased carcass abundance, suggesting that the relative abundance of smaller, lipid-poor zooplankton is a strong predictor of Cassin's Auklets overwinter survival. Furthermore, dispersing Cassin's Auklets were likely compressed into a nearshore band of upwelled water, and ultimately died from starvation following the shift in zooplankton composition associated with the onshore transport of the NE Pacific MHW. The information regarding the magnitude of this event, as well as its causal mechanism, comes as a direct result of rigorous data collection by citizen science volunteers, demonstrating that citizen science can, and does, contribute to our understanding of how climate change is altering marine

  11. Depredación de aves marinas nocturnas en islotes de isla Guadalupe, México Predation of nocturnal seabirds on islets of Isla Guadalupe, Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric Mellink

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available A principios de junio de 2000, se realizó una prospección biológica de 3 islotes en el extremo sur de isla Guadalupe: islote de Afuera (o islote Zapato, islote de Adentro (o islote Toro e islote Negro, para documentar aves marinas anidantes. Se detectaron despojos de más de 100 paíños de Leach (Oceanodroma leucorhoa, 31 mérgulos de Xantus (Synthliboramphus hypoleuca y un alcuela de Cassin (Ptychoramphus aleuticus depredados. Las evidencias indican como el depredador de los paíños al tecolote llanero (Athene cunicularia, pero debido a su tamaño posiblemente no lo haya sido de los mérgulos, ni de la alcuela. Las características de los restos de los individuos depredados indican que eran de la población de paíños que anidó el invierno inmediato anterior. La información no es suficiente para determinar si dicha depredación representa un problema de conservación de aves marinas pequeñas en los islotes de la isla Guadalupe, pero sí sugiere que se debe estudiar más a fondo.In early June 2000 we surveyed 3 islets at the southern end of Isla Guadalupe, Mexico: Islote de Afuera (or Islote Zapato, Islote de Adentro (or islote Toro, and Islote Negro, to document nesting seabirds. We found vestiges of over 100 Leach's Storm-petrels (Oceanodroma leucorhoa, 31 Xantus Murrelets (Synthliboramphus hypoleuca, and 1 Cassin's Auklet (Ptychoramphus aleuticus that had been depredated. The evidences point to Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia as the predator of the storm-petrels, but, because of its size, probably other birds were involved in murrelet and auklet predation. Based on the characteristics of the remains, the depredated Leach Storm-petrels belonged to the population that had nested during the previous winter. The information is not sufficient to determine whether such predation represents a conservation problem for small seabirds on Isla Guadalupe, but suggest that the issue should be studied further.

  12. Effects of human disturbance on a burrow nesting seabird Efectos de la presencia de humanos en aves marinas que anidan en madrigueras

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuri V. Albores-Barajas

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available During 2004, we followed 72 natural burrows to determine the effects of disturbance on breeding success of Cassin's auklets (Ptychoramphus aleuticus. We used distance from a human settlement or path in the analysis of disturbance. Birds whose burrows were closer to the path or the village had a higher rate of nest abandonment and lower breeding success compared to birds nesting further away from the path or the village. Also, older and more experienced individuals represented a larger proportion of the breeding population on less disturbed areas than on highly disturbed ones, probably as older individuals tend to arrive earlier at the breeding grounds, and failed breeders may change burrow sites to move away from disturbance. P. aleuticus are adversely affected by human activity at colonies even if birds are not handled and burrows are not opened, and this has implications for conservation, and planning of ecotourism. On the long term, this can have negative consequences for this species and others with similar characteristics.Durante el 2004 seguimos 72 nidos de la alcuela (Ptychoramphus aleuticus para determinar los efectos de disturbio en el éxito reproductivo. Utilizamos la distancia del nido a áreas asentamientos humanos o al camino como medidas de disturbio. Los nidos que estaban más cerca de los asentamientos o del camino tuvieron una tasa de abandono mayor y un éxito reproductivo menor en comparación con los nidos que estaban más alejados de las fuentes de disturbio. También observamos que en las zonas menos expuestas la proporción de adultos, con mayor experiencia, era más alta, posiblemente porque los individuos con mayor experiencia llegan antes a la zona de anidación. Las alcuelas son afectadas negativamente por la presencia de los humanos y sus actividades, aunque las aves no entren en contacto directo con los humanos. A largo plazo, esto puede acarrear consecuencias graves para esta especie y otras con caracter

  13. History and status of introduced mammals and impacts to breeding seabirds on the California channel and Northwestern Baja California Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    McChesney, G.J.; Tershy, B.R.

    1998-01-01

    The California Channel Islands, U.S.A., and Northwestern Baja California Islands, Mexico, host important breeding populations of several seabird species, including the endemic Black-vented Shearwater (Puffinus opisthomelas) and Xantus' Murrelet (Synthliboramphus hypoleucus). Mammals introduced to nearly all of the islands beginning in the late 1800s to early 1900s include: cats (Felis catus), dogs (Canis familiaris), Black Rats (Rattus rattus), rabbits and hares (Leporidae), goats (Capra hirca), sheep (Ovis ones), and other grazers. Cats, dogs and rats are seabird predators, grazers such as goats and sheep cause habitat degredation, and rabbits destroy habitat and compete with hole-nesting seabirds. Cats, which were introduced to at least 19 islands and currently occur on ten islands, have had the greatest impacts on seabirds, including the extinction of the endemic Guadalupe Storm-Petrel (Oceanodroma macrodactyla). Cats are known to have eliminated or severely reduced colonies of Black-vented Shearwaters, Cassin's Auklets (Ptychoramphus aleuticus) and Xantus' Murrelets. Black Rats have occurred on a minimum of seven islands and have reduced numbers of small, hole-nesting alcids on at least one island. At many islands, defoliation and erosion caused by rabbits and large grazing mammals has been severe. Their effects on seabirds are not well documented but potentially are serious. Impacts from introduced mammals have been most severe on islands with no native mammalian predators. On the Northwestern Baja California Islands, temporary and permanent human settlements have led to a greater diversity and source of introductions. Programs to remove introduced mammals and to reduce the possibility of future introductions are needed to restore seabird populations and to preserve the biodiversity of the region. Surveys are needed particularly on the Northwestern Baja California Islands to update the status and distribution of seabirds and to further assess impacts from

  14. The influence of trophic level and feeding location of the levels of organochlorine contaminants in seabird eggs as revealed by stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hobson, K. [Canadian Wildlife Service, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (Canada); Jarman, W.M.; Bott, J.A.; Bacon, C.E. [Univ. of California, Santa Cruz (Canada). Inst. of Marine Sciences; Sydeman, W. [Point Reyes Bird Observatory, Stinson Beach, CA (United States)

    1994-12-31

    Seabird eggs have been used extensively to assay contaminants in marine food webs, but links to trophic level or feeding location have remained poorly understood due to limitations inherent in conventional dietary studies. Stable-isotope analysis of bird eggs may be used to infer trophic position and feeding location of adult seabirds and can be readily correlated with measurements of egg contaminant levels. The authors measured stable-carbon ({delta}{sup 13}C) and nitrogen ({delta}{sup 15}N) isotope abundance, and organochlorine contaminants (DDTs, PCBs, chlordanes, etc.) in eggs from Cassin`s Auklet (Ptychoramphus aleutica), Common Murre (Uria aalge), Pigeon Guillemot (Cepphus columba). Rhinoceros Auklet (Cerorhinca monocerata), Pelagic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pelagicus), Brandt`s Cormorant (Phalacrocorax penicillatus), and Western Gull (Larus) from Southeast Farallon Island together with rockfish (Sebastes spp.), anchovy (Engraulis spp.), and euphausiid prey from the Gulf of the Farallones. Consistent with its planktivorous diet and pelagic feeding habits, Cassin`s Auklet showed the lowest mean {delta}{sup 15}N value and the least enriched {delta}{sup 13}C values. Measures of trophic level and foraging location were constructed for all other seabirds relative to these isotopic endpoints. Contaminant levels in the eggs and fish will be interpreted in light of the stable-isotope results.

  15. A Test of Founder Effect Speciation Using Multiple Loci in the Auklets (Aethia spp.)

    OpenAIRE

    Walsh, H. E.; Jones, I. L.; Friesen, V. L.

    2005-01-01

    Whether speciation results more frequently from the genetic consequences of founder events or from gradual genetic divergence of large populations is a matter of debate. In this study, multiple analyses were applied to data from three loci (cytochrome b, α-enolase intron VIII, and MHC class II B) to test for founder effects associated with speciation in Aethia (Aves: Alcidae), a genus of seabirds thought to have undergone a rapid founder-induced radiation. Effective population sizes (Ne) were...

  16. Using seabird habitat modeling to inform marine spatial planning in central California's National Marine Sanctuaries.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer McGowan

    Full Text Available Understanding seabird habitat preferences is critical to future wildlife conservation and threat mitigation in California. The objective of this study was to investigate drivers of seabird habitat selection within the Gulf of the Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries to identify areas for targeted conservation planning. We used seabird abundance data collected by the Applied California Current Ecosystem Studies Program (ACCESS from 2004-2011. We used zero-inflated negative binomial regression to model species abundance and distribution as a function of near surface ocean water properties, distances to geographic features and oceanographic climate indices to identify patterns in foraging habitat selection. We evaluated seasonal, inter-annual and species-specific variability of at-sea distributions for the five most abundant seabirds nesting on the Farallon Islands: western gull (Larus occidentalis, common murre (Uria aalge, Cassin's auklet (Ptychorampus aleuticus, rhinoceros auklet (Cerorhinca monocerata and Brandt's cormorant (Phalacrocorax penicillatus. The waters in the vicinity of Cordell Bank and the continental shelf east of the Farallon Islands emerged as persistent and highly selected foraging areas across all species. Further, we conducted a spatial prioritization exercise to optimize seabird conservation areas with and without considering impacts of current human activities. We explored three conservation scenarios where 10, 30 and 50 percent of highly selected, species-specific foraging areas would be conserved. We compared and contrasted results in relation to existing marine protected areas (MPAs and the future alternative energy footprint identified by the California Ocean Uses Atlas. Our results show that the majority of highly selected seabird habitat lies outside of state MPAs where threats from shipping, oil spills, and offshore energy development remain. This analysis accentuates the need for innovative marine

  17. POPs and stable isotopes in bird and forage fish tissues - Persistent organic pollutant levels in juvenile salmonids, forage fish and their avian predators from Puget Sound and the outer WA coast

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This project is examining contaminant loads of fish prey species of a resident marine bird (Rhinoceros Auklet) breeding in inland waters (Puget Sound) and in the...

  18. Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) Initial Defensive Operations Capability (IDOC) at Vandenberg Air Force Base Environmental Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-08-28

    deer. Birds such as ring-billed, Heerman’s, and glaucous-winged gulls, as well as the western wood-pewee, rhinoceros auklet, red-winged blackbird...of North Alabama Years of Experience: 10 Rebecca J. White , Environmental Specialist, EDAW, Inc. B.S., 2000, Civil/Environmental Engineer

  19. Influence of pycnocline topography and water-column structure on marine distributions of alcids (Aves: Alcidae) in Anadyr Strait, Northern Bering Sea, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haney, J. Christopher

    1991-01-01

    Systematic ship-board surveys were used to simultaneously record seabird abundances and resolve coarse-scale (3 to 10 km) horizontal and fine-scale (1 to 10 m) vertical variability in water-column structure and bathymetry for portions of the coastal zone in Anadyr Strait near western St. Lawrence Island, northern Bering Sea, Alaska, during August and September 1987. Three plankton-feeding alcids, parakeet (Cyclorrhynchus psittacula), crested (Aethia cristatella) and least (A. pusilla) auklets, each exhibited distinct associations for different pycnocline characteristics. Least auklets were more abundant in mixed water, but they also occurred within stratified water where the pycnocline and upper-mixed layer were shallow (≤8 m) and thin (≤10 m), respectively. Low body mass (85 g), high buoyancy, and relatively poor diving ability may have restricted this auklet to areas where water-column strata nearly intersected the surface, or to areas from which strata were absent altogether due to strong vertical mixing. Parakeet and crested auklets, which are larger-bodied (ca. 260 g) planktivores with presumably greater diving ability, were more abundant in stratified water, and both species exhibited less specific affinities for water-column characteristic at intermediate and shallow levels. All three auklets avoided locations with strong pycnocline gradients (≤0.22σtm−1), a crude index of the strong, subsurface shear in water velocities characteristic of this region. Auklet distributions in Anadyr Strait were consistent with: (1) strata accessibility, as estimated from relationships between body mass and relative diving ability, (2) possible avoidance of strong subsurface water motions, and (3) habits and distributions of plankton prey. In contrast, largebodied (>450 g) alcids [i.e., common (Uria aalge) and thick-billed (U. lomvia) murres, pigeon guillemots (Cephus columba), tufted (Fratercula cirrhata), and horned (F. corniculata) puffins feeding on fish or

  20. Avian cholera causes marine bird mortality in the Bering Sea of Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bodenstein, Barbara L.; Kimberlee Beckmen,; Gay Sheffield,; Kathy Kuletz,; Van Hemert, Caroline R.; Berlowski-Zier, Brenda M.; Shearn-Bochsler, Valerie I.

    2015-01-01

    The first known avian cholera outbreak among wild birds in Alaska occurred during November 2013. Liver, intestinal, and splenic necrosis consistent with avian cholera was noted, and Pasteurella multocida serotype 1 was isolated from liver and lung or spleen in Crested Auklets (Aethia cristatella), Thick-billed Murres (Uria lomvia), Common Eider (Somateria mollissima), Northern Fulmars (Fulmarus glacialis), and Glaucous-winged Gulls (Larus glaucescens).

  1. Environmental Assessment: Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) 2005 Mission Realignments to Vandenberg AFB

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-02-01

    birds such as Bewick’s wren, California quail, Spotted and California towhees, White -crowned and Song sparrows, and Anna’s hummingbird; reptiles...Additional Comments White -faced ibis (rookery site) Plegadis chihi CSC O Migrant Freshwater marshes, ponds Flock observed at Barka Slough...round Beaches and coastal dunes Marbled godwit Limosa fedoa BCC O Year-round Beaches and coastal dunes Rhinoceros auklet (nesting colony

  2. Sea-Based X-Band (SBX) Radar Vessel Maintenance and Repair. Draft Environmental Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-02-14

    recognizable of all the cetaceans. They have a striking black-and- white color pattern, and the adult male has a tall, erect dorsal fin (3.3 to 5.9 feet in...height). The white oval eye patch and variably-shaped saddle patch, in conjunction with the shape and notches in the dorsal fin, help in identifying...guillemot, common loon, harlequin duck, rhinoceros auklet, cormorants, scoters, and grebes. (National Wildlife Federation, 2010) Port Gardner Bay

  3. Seasonal and distributional patterns of seabirds along the Aleutian Archipelago

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renner, M.; Hunt, G.L.; Piatt, John F.; Byrd, G.V.

    2008-01-01

    The Aleutian Archipelago is of global importance to seabirds during the northern summer, but little is known about seabird use of these waters during winter. We compare summer and winter abundances of seabirds around 3 islands: Buldir in the western, Kasatochi in the central, and Aiktak in the eastern Aleutians. The density of combined seabird biomass in nearshore marine waters was higher in summer than in winter at Buldir and Kasatochi, but was higher in winter at Aiktak, despite the departure of abundant migratory species. Comparing foraging guilds, we found that only piscivores increased at the western and central sites in winter, whereas at the eastern site several planktivorous species increased as well. The only planktivore remaining in winter at the central and western sites in densities comparable to summer densities was whiskered auklet Aethia pygmaea. Crested auklet Aethia cristatella and thick-billed murre Uria lomvia showed the greatest proportional winter increase at the eastern site. The seasonal patterns of the seabird communities suggest a winter breakdown of the copepod-based food web in the central and western parts of the archipelago, and a system that remains rich in euphausiids in the eastern Aleutians. We suggest that in winter crested auklets take the trophic role that short-tailed shearwaters Puffinus tenuirostris occupy during summer. We hypothesize that advection of euphausiids in the Aleutian North Slope Current is important for supporting the high biomass of planktivores that occupy the Unimak Pass region on a year-round basis. ?? Inter-Research 2008.

  4. Stability of a Seabird Population in the Presence of an Introduced Predator

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heather L. Major

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available We hypothesized that although large populations may appear able to withstand predation and disturbance, added stochasticity in population growth rate (λ increases the risk of dramatic population declines. Approximately half of the Aleutian Islands' population of Least Auklets (Aethia pusilla breed at one large colony at Kiska Island in the presence of introduced Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus whose population erupts periodically. We evaluated two management plans, do nothing or eradicate rats, for this colony, and performed stochastic elasticity analysis to focus future research and management. Our results indicated that Least Auklets breeding at Kiska Island had the lowest absolute value of growth rate and more variable λ's (neither statistically significant during 2001-2010, when compared with rat-free colonies at Buldir and Kasatochi islands. We found variability in the annual proportional change in population size among islands with Kiska Island having the fastest rate of decline, 78% over 20 years. Under the assumption that the eradication of rats would result in vital rates similar to those observed at rat-free Buldir and Kasatochi islands, we found the projected population decline decreased from 78% to 24% over 20 years. Overall, eradicating rats at Kiska Island is not likely to increase Least Auklet vital rates, but will decrease the amount of variation in λ, resulting in a significantly slower rate of population decline. We recommend the eradication of rats from Kiska Island to decrease the probability of dramatic population declines and ensure the future persistence of this important colony.

  5. Disentangling effects of growth and nutritional status on seabird stable isotope ratios

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sears, J.; Hatch, Shyla A.; O'Brien, D. M.

    2009-01-01

    A growing number of studies suggest that an individual's physiology affects its carbon and nitrogen stable isotope signatures, obscuring a signal often assumed to be only a reflection of diet and foraging location. We examined effects of growth and moderate food restriction on red blood cell (RBC) and feather ??15N and ??13C in rhinoceros auklet chicks (Cerorhinca monocerata), a piscivorous seabird. Chicks were reared in captivity and fed either control (75 g/day; n = 7) or ~40% restricted (40 g/day; n = 6) amounts of high quality forage fish. We quantified effects of growth on isotopic fractionation by comparing ??15N and ??13C in control chicks to those of captive, non-growing subadult auklets (n = 11) fed the same diet. To estimate natural levels of isotopic variation, we also collected blood from a random sample of free-living rhinoceros auklet adults and chicks in the Gulf of Alaska (n = 15 for each), as well as adult feather samples (n = 13). In the captive experiment, moderate food restriction caused significant depletion in ??15N of both RBCs and feathers in treatment chicks compared to control chicks. Growth also induced depletion in RBC ??15N, with chicks exhibiting lower ??15N when they were growing the fastest. As growth slowed, ??15N increased, resulting in an overall pattern of enrichment over the course of the nestling period. Combined effects of growth and restriction depleted ??15N in chick RBCs by 0.92???. We propose that increased nitrogen-use efficiency is responsible for 15N depletion in both growing and food-restricted chicks. ??15N values in RBCs of free-ranging auklets fell within a range of only 1.03???, while feather ??15N varied widely. Together, our captive and field results suggest that both growth and moderate food restriction can affect stable isotope ratios in an ecologically meaningful way in RBCs although not feathers due to greater natural variability in this tissue. ?? 2008 Springer-Verlag.

  6. Weyerhaeuser Export Facility at DuPont. Volume I.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1982-05-01

    Melanitta erspicllata), Bonaparte’s gull (Larus---hladelphia), common murre (Urla aalge), pigon guillemot (Cepphus Col-ma), and rhinoceros auklet (Ceror...Common murres, pigeon guillemots, glaucous winged (Larus glauscescens) and Bonaparte’s gulls and lesser numbers of rhinoceros aukle ae also present on...Gavia immer), western grebes, white -winged scoters (elanitta deglandi), and gulls’are regularly 63 g j~~~~~~~n Ve motatWtrbr GrE28 m~~~TVr Sc n Mie ra

  7. Bioindicators of Organochlorine Pesticides in the Sea of Okhotsk and the Western Bering Sea.

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    Tsygankov, Vasiliy Yu; Boyarova, Margarita D; Lukyanova, Olga N; Khristoforova, Nadezhda K

    2017-08-01

    Organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), such as HCHs and DDTs, are still used as pesticides in the Southern Hemisphere and can reach the North Pacific due to long range atmospheric transfer. Marine mammals (Pacific walrus Odobenus rosmarus divergens, gray whale Eschrichtius robustus), the seabirds (Pacific gull Larus schistisagus, crested auklet Aethia cristatella, auklet crumb Aethia pusilla, northern fulmar Fulmarus glacialis, and grey petrel Oceanodroma furcata) and Pacific salmon (pink Oncorhynchus gorbuscha, chum O. keta, chinook O. tshawytscha, and sockeye O. nerka) were collected near the Kuril Islands (the northern-western part of the Pacific Ocean), in the Sea of Okhotsk and the Bering Sea. The total OCPs concentration (HCHs + DDTs) was found in each organism, including the Pacific walrus (70-90,263 ng/g lipid), the seabirds (29-16,095 ng/g lipid), and the Pacific salmon (41-7103 ng/g lipid). The concentrations and possible sources of OCPs in marine organisms as biological indicators are discussed.

  8. Ecosystem responses to short-term climate variability in the Gulf of the Farallones, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jahncke, J.; Saenz, B. L.; Abraham, C. L.; Rintoul, C.; Bradley, R. W.; Sydeman, W. J.

    2008-05-01

    We conducted an integrated study from physics to upper trophic-level predators in the Gulf of the Farallones, California. We hypothesized that decreased zooplankton abundance for upper trophic-level predators in the Gulf of the Farallones during 2004 and 2005 was a response to reduced upwelling-favorable winds and primary production. Based on their trophic ecology, we hypothesized that planktivorous auklets and omnivorous murres will show differential responses to upwelling variability. We examined these hypotheses by analyzing time series on oceanographic variables associated to upwelling and the biological responses at low, mid and high trophic-levels. We found that reduced upwelling-favorable wind was correlated with anomalously high SST and low chlorophyll a concentration from July 2004 to August 2005. During 2005, low chlorophyll concentrations were related to reduced krill abundance in the upper water column and decreased seabird abundance in the vicinity of the breeding colony in the study area. Decreased krill abundance was associated with late timing of nesting and reduced breeding success, with auklets showing a more pronounced response. This study shows how short-term climate variability can affect primary through tertiary productivity, and supports an interpretation of “bottom-up” control of ecosystem dynamics.

  9. Effects of salmon-derived nutrients and habitat characteristics on population densities of stream-resident sculpins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Noel R Swain

    Full Text Available Movement of nutrients across ecosystem boundaries can have important effects on food webs and population dynamics. An example from the North Pacific Rim is the connection between productive marine ecosystems and freshwaters driven by annual spawning migrations of Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp. While a growing body of research has highlighted the importance of both pulsed nutrient subsidies and disturbance by spawning salmon, their effects on population densities of vertebrate consumers have rarely been tested, especially across streams spanning a wide range of natural variation in salmon densities and habitat characteristics. We studied resident freshwater prickly (Cottus asper, and coastrange sculpins (C. aleuticus in coastal salmon spawning streams to test whether their population densities are affected by spawning densities of pink and chum salmon (O. gorbuscha and O. keta, as well as habitat characteristics. Coastrange sculpins occurred in the highest densities in streams with high densities of spawning pink and chum salmon. They also were more dense in streams with high pH, large watersheds, less area covered by pools, and lower gradients. In contrast, prickly sculpin densities were higher in streams with more large wood and pools, and less canopy cover, but their densities were not correlated with salmon. These results for coastrange sculpins provide evidence of a numerical population response by freshwater fish to increased availability of salmon subsidies in streams. These results demonstrate complex and context-dependent relationships between spawning Pacific salmon and coastal ecosystems and can inform an ecosystem-based approach to their management and conservation.

  10. Plastic ingestion in marine-associated bird species from the eastern North Pacific.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avery-Gomm, S; Provencher, J F; Morgan, K H; Bertram, D F

    2013-07-15

    In addition to monitoring trends in plastic pollution, multi-species surveys are needed to fully understand the pervasiveness of plastic ingestion. We examined the stomach contents of 20 bird species collected from the coastal waters of the eastern North Pacific, a region known to have high levels of plastic pollution. We observed no evidence of plastic ingestion in Rhinoceros Auklet, Marbled Murrelet, Ancient Murrelet or Pigeon Guillemot, and low levels in Common Murre (2.7% incidence rate). Small sample sizes limit our ability to draw conclusions about population level trends for the remaining fifteen species, though evidence of plastic ingestion was found in Glaucous-Winged Gull and Sooty Shearwater. Documenting levels of plastic ingestion in a wide array of species is necessary to gain a comprehensive understanding about the impacts of plastic pollution. We propose that those working with bird carcasses follow standard protocols to assess the levels of plastic ingestion whenever possible. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Connecting the dots in the Gulf of the Farallones: linking physical ocean conditions and nutrients to the ecological success of planktivorous predators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartnett, R. J.; Jahncke, J.; Wilkerson, F. P.; Nielsen, K. J.; Nur, N.

    2016-02-01

    Nutrients are essential for phytoplankton to thrive and drive bottom-up forcing of ecosystem production. Upwelling of deep water from the shelf break delivers pulses of nutrients resulting in recurring blooms of phytoplankton and zooplankton in the Gulf of the Farallones (GoF) region of the California Current Ecosystem, supporting a diversity of pelagic predators. Anomalies in ocean conditions are often associated with booms and crashes of these predator populations, such as the recent mortality of thousands of Cassin's Auklets. These anomalies are often associated with changes in physical conditions affecting the Pacific Ocean, as well as more localized physical conditions along the California coastline that drive nutrient availability, but the specific role of nutrients in driving the abundances of top predators has not been directly examined. Using a ten-year multivariate time series from the GoF, including nutrient concentrations, we test the hypothesis that nutrients regulate the abundance of plankton and planktivorous predators, as a result of physical forcing. Using path analysis we test alternate interaction webs, including the direct and indirect effects of physical and biological factors on pelagic predator abundances. Insights from this work may be useful to marine resource managers in understanding how future variability in ocean conditions may drive ecosystem conditions including the abundance of pelagic predators in the GoF Marine Sanctuary.

  12. Feather corticosterone reveals stress associated with dietary changes in a breeding seabird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Will, Alexis; Watanuki, Yutaka; Kikuchi, Dale M; Sato, Nobuhiko; Ito, Motohiro; Callahan, Matt; Wynne-Edwards, Katherine; Hatch, Scott; Elliott, Kyle; Slater, Leslie; Takahashi, Akinori; Kitaysky, Alexander

    2015-10-01

    Changes in climate and anthropogenic pressures might affect the composition and abundance of forage fish in the world's oceans. The junk-food hypothesis posits that dietary shifts that affect the quality (e.g., energy content) of food available to marine predators may impact their physiological state and consequently affect their fitness. Previously, we experimentally validated that deposition of the adrenocortical hormone, corticosterone, in feathers is a sensitive measure of nutritional stress in seabirds. Here, we use this method to examine how changes in diet composition and prey quality affect the nutritional status of free-living rhinoceros auklets (Cerorhinca monocerata). Our study sites included the following: Teuri Is. Japan, Middleton Is. central Gulf of Alaska, and St. Lazaria Is. Southeast Alaska. In 2012 and 2013, we collected "bill loads" delivered by parents to feed their chicks (n = 758) to document dietary changes. We deployed time-depth-temperature recorders on breeding adults (n = 47) to evaluate whether changes in prey coincided with changes in foraging behavior. We measured concentrations of corticosterone in fledgling (n = 71) and adult breeders' (n = 82) feathers to determine how birds were affected by foraging conditions. We found that seasonal changes in diet composition occurred on each colony, adults dove deeper and engaged in longer foraging bouts when capturing larger prey and that chicks had higher concentrations of corticosterone in their feathers when adults brought back smaller and/or lower energy prey. Corticosterone levels in feathers of fledglings (grown during the breeding season) and those in feathers of adult breeders (grown during the postbreeding season) were positively correlated, indicating possible carryover effects. These results suggest that seabirds might experience increased levels of nutritional stress associated with moderate dietary changes and that physiological responses to changes in prey composition

  13. Environmental conditions and biological community of the Penzhina and Talovka hypertidal estuary (northwest Kamchatka) in the ice-free season

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koval, M. V.; Gorin, S. L.; Romanenko, F. A.; Lepskaya, E. V.; Polyakova, A. A.; Galyamov, R. A.; Esin, E. V.

    2017-07-01

    New data on the abiotic conditions; species composition; abundance, distribution, and migrations of fauna; and feeding interactions in an estuary ecosystem were obtained during expeditions in the mouths of Penzhina and Talovka rivers (northwest Kamchatka). It is revealed that in the ice-free season, the hydrological regime of the estuary is determined by seasonal fluctuations of river runoff, as well as fortnightly and daily variation of tides. The estuary is characterized by hypertidal fluctuations (up to 10-12 m); strong reverse flows (up to 1.0-1.5 m/s), considerable tidal variations in salinity (from 0 to 6-9‰ at the river boundary and from 6-8 to 14-16‰ at the offshore boundary), and high water turbidity (up to 1 000 NTU or more). Based on the spatial structure of the community, three ecological zones with mobile boundaries are distinguished: freshwater (salinity 0-0.1‰), estuarine (0-12.3‰), and neritic (11.2-18.9‰). High turbidity prevents the development of phytoplankton in the estuarine zone (EZ), and the local benthic community is significantly depleted due to the desalination and wide spread of aleuritic silts. Neritic copepods and nektobenthic brackish- water crustaceans generate the maximum abundance and biomass here. The species that have adapted to the local extreme hydrologic conditions dominate and form the basis of the estuarine food chain. Dominant among the EZ vertebrates are such groups as anadromous fishes (smelts, pacific salmons, charrs, and sticklebacks); waterfowl (terns, kittiwakes, cormorants, fulmars, puffins, guillemots, auklets, and wadepipers); and predatory marine mammals (larga, ringed seal, bearded seal, and white whale). The total abundance and biomass of these animals are much higher in the pelagic EZ in comparison to neighboring zones.

  14. Genome-wide computational analysis of the secretome of brown algae (Phaeophyceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terauchi, Makoto; Yamagishi, Takahiro; Hanyuda, Takeaki; Kawai, Hiroshi

    2017-04-01

    Brown algae have evolved complex multicellularity in the heterokont lineage. They are phylogenetically distant to land plants, fungi and animals. Especially, the members of Laminariales (so-called kelps) have developed highly differentiated tissues. Extracellular matrix (ECM) plays pivotal roles in a number of essential processes in multicellular organisms, such as cell adhesion, cell and tissue differentiations, cell-to-cell communication, and responses to environmental stimuli. In these processes, a set of extracellular secreted proteins called the secretome operates remodeling of the physicochemical nature of ECM and signal transduction by interacting with cell surface proteins and signaling molecules. Characterization of the secretome is a critical step to clarify the contributions of ECM to the multicellularity of brown algae. However, the identity of the brown algal secretome has been poorly understood. In order to reveal the repertory of the brown algal secretome and its involvement in the evolution of Laminariales, we conducted a genome-wide analysis of the brown algal secretome utilizing the published complete genome data of Ectocarpus siliculosus and Saccharina japonica as well as newly obtained RNA-seq data of seven laminarialean species (Agarum clathratum, Alaria crassifolia, Aureophycus aleuticus, Costaria costata, Pseudochorda nagaii, Saccharina angustata and Undaria pinnatifida) largely covering the laminarialean families. We established the in silico pipeline to systematically and accurately detect the secretome by combining multiple prediction algorithms for the N-terminal signal peptide and transmembrane domain within the protein sequence. From 16,189 proteins of E. siliculosus and 18,733 proteins of S. japonica, 552 and 964 proteins respectively were predicted to be classified as the secretome. Conserved domain analysis showed that the domain repertory were very similar to each other, and that of the brown algal secretome was partially common

  15. California State Waters Map Series: offshore of San Gregorio, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cochrane, Guy R.; Dartnell, Peter; Greene, H. Gary; Watt, Janet T.; Golden, Nadine E.; Endris, Charles A.; Phillips, Eleyne L.; Hartwell, Stephen R.; Johnson, Samuel Y.; Kvitek, Rikk G.; Erdey, Mercedes D.; Bretz, Carrie K.; Manson, Michael W.; Sliter, Ray W.; Ross, Stephanie L.; Dieter, Bryan E.; Chin, John L.; Cochran, Susan A.; Cochrane, Guy R.; Cochran, Susan A.

    2014-01-01

    over the last 50 years that is driving an ecosystem shift away from the productive subarctic regime towards a depopulated subtropical environment. Seafloor habitats in the Offshore of San Gregorio map area, which lies within the Shelf (continental shelf) megahabitat, range from significant rocky outcrops that support kelp-forest communities nearshore to rocky-reef communities in deep water. Biological productivity resulting from coastal upwelling supports diverse populations of sea birds such as Sooty Shearwater, Western Gull, Common Murre, Cassin's Auklet, and many other less populous bird species. In addition, an observable recovery of Humpback and Blue Whales has occurred in the area; both species are dependent on coastal upwelling to provide nutrients. The large extent of exposed inner shelf bedrock supports large forests of "bull kelp," which is well adapted for high wave-energy environments. Common fish species found in the kelp beds and rocky reefs include lingcod and various species of rockfish and greenling.

  16. California State Waters Map Series: offshore of Half Moon Bay, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cochrane, Guy R.; Dartnell, Peter; Greene, H. Gary; Johnson, Samuel Y.; Golden, Nadine E.; Hartwell, Stephen R.; Dieter, Bryan E.; Manson, Michael W.; Sliter, Ray W.; Ross, Stephanie L.; Watt, Janet T.; Endris, Charles A.; Kvitek, Rikk G.; Phillips, Eleyne L.; Erdey, Mercedes D.; Chin, John L.; Bretz, Carrie K.

    2014-01-01

    area), although its associated phylogeographic group of marine fauna may extend beyond to the area offshore of Los Angeles in southern California. The ocean off central California has experienced a warming over the last 50 years that is driving an ecosystem shift away from the productive subarctic regime towards a depopulated subtropical environment. Seafloor habitats in the Offshore of Half Moon Bay map area, which lies within the Shelf (continental shelf) megahabitat, range from significant rocky outcrops that support kelp-forest communities nearshore to rocky-reef communities in deep water. Biological productivity resulting from coastal upwelling supports populations of sea birds such as Sooty Shearwater, Western Gull, Common Murre, Cassin’s Auklet, and many other less populous bird species. In addition, an observable recovery of Humpback and Blue Whales has occurred in the area; both species are dependent on coastal upwelling to provide nutrients. The large extent of exposed inner shelf bedrock supports large forests of “bull kelp,” which is well adapted for high wave-energy environments. Common fish species found in the kelp beds and rocky reefs include lingcod and various species of rockfish and greenling.

  17. California State Waters Map Series—Offshore of Monterey, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Samuel Y.; Dartnell, Peter; Hartwell, Stephen R.; Cochrane, Guy R.; Golden, Nadine E.; Watt, Janet T.; Davenport, Clifton W.; Kvitek, Rikk G.; Erdey, Mercedes D.; Krigsman, Lisa M.; Sliter, Ray W.; Maier, Katherine L.; Johnson, Samuel Y.; Cochran, Susan A.

    2016-08-18

    swells from the northwest throughout the year. Wave heights range from 2 to 10 m, the larger swells occurring from October to May. During El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events, winter storms track farther south than they do in normal (non-ENSO) years, thereby impacting the map area more frequently and with waves of larger heights.Benthic species observed in the map area are natives of the cold-temperate biogeographic zone that is called either the “Oregonian province” or the “northern California ecoregion.” This biogeographic province is maintained by the long-term stability of the southward-flowing California Current, the eastern limb of the North Pacific subtropical gyre that flows from southern British Columbia to Baja California.Biological productivity resulting from coastal upwelling supports populations of Sooty Shearwater, Western Gull, Common Murre, Cassin’s Auklet, and many other less populous bird species. An observable recovery of Humpback and Blue Whales has occurred in the area; both species are dependent on coastal upwelling to provide nutrients. The large extent of exposed inner shelf bedrock supports large forests of “bull kelp,” which is well adapted for high-wave-energy environments. The kelp beds are well-known habitat for the population of southern sea otters. Common fish species found in the kelp beds and rocky reefs include lingcod and various species of rockfish and greenling.