Protection for Channel Island Seabirds

Photo showing a Cassin's Auklet in a natural burrow.

Cassin's Auklet in a natural burrow on Santa Barbara Island.

On March 14, 2013 MSRP held the first strategic planning meeting for the newly formed Channel Islands Chapter of the Seabird Protection Network (SPN). The goal of SPN is to minimize levels of human disturbance to roosting and nesting seabird colonies along the entire California coast including offshore rocks and islands. The meeting brought together land managers, , user groups, and educators to learn about what other SPN chapters have done to protect seabirds from human disturbance and to discuss how the Channel Islands Chapter can begin to move forward. MSRP presented actions that have already been taken to protect Channel Island seabirds such as placing closure signs near seabird nesting sites, creating a seabird field ID card for user groups, and giving presentations to local yacht clubs.

There were 30 participants from 17 organizations that attended the meeting. Presenters at the meeting represented all eight of the Channel Islands and focused on conveying the specific disturbance threats to seabirds for each island or group of islands. Presenters also focused on strategies to reduce these threats and prioritization for disturbance reduction activities in the future. Next steps for the Chapter are to compile all of the information provided at the meeting into an action plan and then send it out to the group for review. MSRP will act as a resource for other agencies and organizations to implement the action plan.

MSRP has been implementing seabird restoration projects on the Channel Islands since 2004 and we are invested in protecting seabird populations from disturbance. Creation of the Channel Islands Chapter will help ensure that protections are in place for seabirds.


-Gabrielle Dorr, MSRP Outreach Coordinator