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We captured 575 Xantus' Murrelets (Synthliboramphus hypoleucus) with spotlights and dip nets at 3 islands in the Southern California Channel Islands during April and May of 1995-1997. Working at night (2100-0500 h), 3-person teams in inflatable boats located murrelets with a spotlight and captured them in dip nets from the waters near known breeding colonies at Santa Barbara, Anacapa, and San Clemente Islands. Our average capture rate was 4.7 murrelets hr-1, but we captured up to 12.3 murrelets hr-1. We recaptured 34 murrelets or 6% of the capture total. We recommend this simple, inexpensive, safe and effective night-lighting capture technique for Xantus' Murrelets and other seabirds.
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A night-lighting technique for at-sea capture of Xantus' Murrelets