CORVALLIS, Ore. — A multi-year study of the marbled murrelet, a threatened West Coast seabird that nests as far as 50 miles inland, aims to discover the animal’s habitat needs and understand the reasons for the species’ ongoing population decline in the Northwest.

 In addition to determine the needs of this elusive bird, the study aims to help forest managers on public and private lands balance habitat conservation with timber land management.  The project is possible because of an increase in funding for research in the College of Forestry at Oregon State University provided by the state Legislature in 2015 with broad support from the timber industry and conservation groups. “We are investing in this project because all interests want to know the breeding habitat requirements of the marbled murrelet, so that land management decisions in our productive coastal forests benefit from the best data and science available,” said Thomas Maness, dean of the college.  “Managing our forests is not just about producing timber. It’s also about habitat. We need to understand where these birds go to nest and the best way to protect this species while actively managing our forests to produce timber revenue that is vital to state and local economies.”


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