Marbled murrelets have declined in Alaska

Northwest Science



In the last issue of Northwest Science, Hayward and Iverson (“Long-Term Trends in Marbled Murrelets in Southeast Alaska Based on Christmas Bird Counts”) failed to mention other evidence for 40-75% declines in murrelet populations, or discuss implications of a climate regime shift that has reduced populations of seabirds in Alaska, or present any useful information on the status of old-growth breeding habitat for murrelets. They examined Christmas Bird Count (CBC) data from Southeast Alaska, and concluded that there is no evidence for declines in populations. They suggested that our (Piatt and Naslund 1995) previous analysis of CBC data for murrelets was erroneous, and suggested that “the disparity between our conclusions… invites explanation”.

Invitation accepted. In the following, I will show that there was no disparity in conclusions, that Hayward and Iverson mis-represented our conclusions and they conducted a highly selective review of evidence for murrelet population changes in Alaska. The result was a paper that was inaccurate, incomplete, out-of-date, mis-leading and of little service to the readers of Northwest Science who might have read the article hoping to gain some new insight on the status of marbled murrelets in Alaska.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Marbled murrelets have declined in Alaska
Series title Northwest Science
Volume 72
Issue 4
Year Published 1998
Language English
Publisher Northwest Science Association
Contributing office(s) Alaska Science Center
Description 5 p.
First page 310
Last page 314
Country United States
State Alaska
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details