This funding provides a mechanism to determine when starvation occurred during recent seabird die-offs and the importance of national park waters as overwintering habitat for Common Murres.
This information is important for NPS to provide timely information to partners and to address public concerns,
especially where subsistence harvesting of seabird eggs occurs.
The recent die-offs of Common Murres provides a cost-effective opportunity for the NPS to perform an initial assessment of overwintering habitat for this species within and near coastal park boundaries.
When and where murres faced chronic food limitations in their annual cycle is not known.
Using murre carcasses collected along park beaches during die-offs spanning 2015-2018 this project will identify when food shortages occurred.
These same carcasses will also be used to identify the regional origin of dead birds, providing coastal parks with information on the geographic scale at which their waters provide wintering habitat for Common Murres and which breeding populations were particularly affected.