• “Marbled Murrelets: Recovering a Rare Bird” March 11, 2014 “Marbled Murrelets: Recovering a Rare Bird” March 11, 2014 With author Maria Mudd Ruth. Photo of Juvenile Marbled Murrelet off Kodiak Island by Rich MacIntosh from USGS
  • Past Event: Great Ape Genetic Diversity and Species Conservation. Photo by Ian Nichols Past Event: Great Ape Genetic Diversity and Species Conservation. Photo by Ian Nichols
  • Past Event: The Three Great Floods of Washington's Past Past Event: The Three Great Floods of Washington's Past With David Kaynor. Painting by Bonaventura Peeters (1614-1652)

     

Adventure & Conservation Speaker Series

A collaboration between Capitol Land Trust and REI.

Marbled Murrelets: Recovering a Rare Bird

Tuesday, March 11, 2014, 7 PM

Thanks to its mysterious, bizarre, and controversial nesting sites, the marbled murrelet has spent a lot of time in the limelight--more than most seabirds of the Pacific Northwest. After decades of failed efforts by naturalists, birders, and ornithologists to find the murrelet's nest, this robin-sized seabird was dubbed the "enigma of the Pacific" and the location of its nest as the "greatest ornithological mystery in North America." Soon after its nest was discovered in 1974--by accident in an 200-year-old Douglas-fir--the marbled murrelet joined the northern spotted owl in the center of the battle over the much contested mature and old-growth forests of the Pacific Northwest.

 The marbled murrelet was listed as a federally threatened species in 1992, but the protections this affords the murrelet have not yet stabilized its rapidly declining populations. Ongoing logging, nest predation, oil spills, gillnetting, depletion of forage fish, and many other threats seem to be pushing the murrelet toward extinction. Yet there is hope for a recovery as conservationists continue working to protect the remaining old forests, to reduce nest predation, to establish marine reserves, and to successfully defend the murrelet in court.

The battle to save the marbled murrelet is often portrayed as one between the conservationists and the timber industry,  but the fate of the murrelet became a personal issue for author Maria Mudd Ruth who fell in love with this bird in 1999. Neither a biologist or birder, Maria moved her family from the East Coast to the West and spent the next several years learning about this fascinating seabird, following murrelet biologists into the field, delving into the complexity of murrelet conservation, and exploring the question of why the marbled murrelet matters.

In 2005 she published an account of her adventures--Rare Bird: Pursuing the Mystery of the Marbled Murrelet, which has just been reissued by Mountaineers Books. Her program is a slide presentation (no bullets!), followed by Q&A, sales and signing of Rare Bird.

WHEN: Tuesday, March 11, 2014, 7 PM
WHERE: Olympia REI
625 Black Lake Blvd SW, Suite 410
Olympia, WA 98502
COST: Free, but space is limited
REGISTER: http://www.rei.com/event/55681/session/86074/04142014