USDA Forest Service

Pacific Southwest Research Station


Pacific Southwest Research Station
800 Buchanan Street
West Annex Building
Albany, CA 94710-0011

(510) 559-6300

United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.

Programs and Projects


Maintaining Faunal Diversity in Forested Ecosystems of the Coastal and Intermountain West

Photo of C. John Ralph

C. John Ralph
Research Wildlife Biologist
Employee E-mail Address Image
Phone: (707) 825-2992

Pacific Southwest Research Station
Redwood Sciences Laboratory
1700 Bayview Drive
Arcata, CA 95521-6013

Ph: (707) 825-2900
Fx: (707) 825-2901

  • B.S., University of California, Berkeley, California
  • M.S., San Jose State University, San Jose, California
  • Sc.D., The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland

Research Interests/Duties
  • Co-chair, Monitoring Working Group, Partners in Flight
  • Faculty Associate, Department of Biological Sciences, Humboldt State University

Most of his early research was on bird migration and orientation. He was a cofounder (with L.R. Mewaldt) of the Point Reyes Bird Observatory, served as its Director for a period, and continues his involvement with migration research and bird observatories in general, more recently helping start the Klamath Bird Observatory working in southern Oregon and northern California.

After a stint as a professor teaching at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania, he moved to Hawaii in 1976 where he began work on endangered forest birds for the Forest Service as a Research Ecologist. His work there focused on the behavioral ecology of the birds, especially foraging, population dynamics, and demography. In 1981 he and his family moved to Arcata, California to join the Forest Service's Redwood Sciences Laboratory.

Current Emphases, Studies, Projects

One of his principal research topics here has been on an old-growth dependant bird, the Marbled Murrelet, involving extensive research from Alaska to California, both in inland forests and much work on monitoring offshore populations of this seabird.

His other principal work is on landbird monitoring, especially involving census and constant effort mist netting.

An import result has been the Klamath Landbird Monitoring Network of stations in northern California and southern Oregon, with the Klamath and Humboldt Bay Bird Observatories, and heavy involvement with Partners in Flight, especially being co-chair of the Monitoring Working Group, and with the North American Banding Council where he serves as chair.

Since 1994 he has directed research at a bird monitoring station in Costa Rica, now one of the longest running stations in Latin America. Beginning in 1980 he has conducted research on an island off New Zealand involving monitoring and reintroduction of native birds.

Selected Publications
He has published more than 150 scientific articles and edited several books on bird monitoring and the Marbled Murrelet. A list of his publications can be found at

Last Modified: Mar 28, 2013 03:00:59 PM