Proposed Abstract Title

Status and trends of Tufted Puffins in Washington State

Type of Presentation

Oral

Session Title

The Biological and Physical Factors Driving Marine Bird Population Dynamics in the Salish Sea

Location

2016SSEC

Description

Tufted Puffin (Fratercula cirrhata) populations have declined significantly throughout the California Current System during the past century, with populations in Washington estimated to have decreased by nearly 90%. The population dropped from approximately 25,000 birds in the early 1900s to 2950 birds estimated between 2007-2010. The number of active colonies in Washington waters decreased from 43 in the early 1900s to 35 and to 19 in the 1978-1984 and 2007-2014 periods, respectively. Within the Salish Sea, there were 10 colonies historically active, but only two of those remain active. Prior to 1978, there were nine colonies in Washington with at least 1000 birds. By 2007-2014, the state had no colonies of that size remaining and only three estimated to contain as many as 100-200 individuals. As a result of these trends, the species was listed by the state of Washington as Endangered in 2015. Regional declines appear to have accelerated in the 1970s and early 1980s and continued to the present, although drivers remain poorly understood. Developing a better understanding of impacts and drivers of the decline is essential to help inform conservation planning for the species in this region.

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Status and trends of Tufted Puffins in Washington State

2016SSEC

Tufted Puffin (Fratercula cirrhata) populations have declined significantly throughout the California Current System during the past century, with populations in Washington estimated to have decreased by nearly 90%. The population dropped from approximately 25,000 birds in the early 1900s to 2950 birds estimated between 2007-2010. The number of active colonies in Washington waters decreased from 43 in the early 1900s to 35 and to 19 in the 1978-1984 and 2007-2014 periods, respectively. Within the Salish Sea, there were 10 colonies historically active, but only two of those remain active. Prior to 1978, there were nine colonies in Washington with at least 1000 birds. By 2007-2014, the state had no colonies of that size remaining and only three estimated to contain as many as 100-200 individuals. As a result of these trends, the species was listed by the state of Washington as Endangered in 2015. Regional declines appear to have accelerated in the 1970s and early 1980s and continued to the present, although drivers remain poorly understood. Developing a better understanding of impacts and drivers of the decline is essential to help inform conservation planning for the species in this region.