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Project Information

Title: Marbled Murrelet Damage Assessment Closeout

Project Year and Number: 1992: B06

Other Fiscal Years and Numbers for this Project: 1989: B06

Principal Investigator (PI): Kathy Kuletz, US Fish & Wildlife Service

Assisting Personnel: None

Research Location: PWS/KEN

Restoration Category: Damage Assessment

Injured Resources Addressed: Common Murres , Marbled Murrelets

Abstract: This study was implemented to assess injury to marbled murrelets from the oil spill. The marbled murrelet population in Prince William Sound has declined from about 300,000 in 1972 to 100,000 in 1989-91. Counts in the Naked Island area in 1989 and 1991 were also lower than counts made from 1978-1980. The length of time between pre-oil surveys and post-oil surveys makes it difficult to determine the contribution of the Exxon Valdez oil spill to this decline.

In Prince William Sound, marbled murrelets comprised 12% of all seabird carcasses retrieved in 1989 following the spill. Based on an 8% chance of carcass recovery, an estimated 9,570 murrelets were killed directly by oil in the Exxon Valdez oil spill zone. In addition, apparently healthy murrelets from oiled areas showed signs of petroleum hydrocarbon exposure, whereas murrelets from unoiled areas in Prince William Sound did not show such signs.

A preliminary report of results has been prepared for this study but comprehensive data synthesis and analysis have not been completed. The preparation of a final report will be essential for understanding the injuries the spill caused to marbled murrelets. If this information is not clearly and completely available to those responsible for restoration, it will not be possible to adequately address the restoration needs of the resource.


Geographic Regions Prince William Sound
Fields of Expertise Contaminants/Toxicology

Proposal: PDF Not Available

Funding Recommendations: View

Funding Detail For: 1992

Quarterly Project Tasks For: 1992

Annual Report: 1992: Not Applicable

Final Report: View

Publications from this Project: None Available

More information may be available for this project under other years:

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Project Number Proposal Annual Reports Final Report Data
1989: B06 View (PDF) 1989: Not Applicable
See Project B06 See Project B06