Research TopicsWildlife & Fish: Bird Monitoring
Marine Oil Spill Monitoring Methods
Two oil spills have occurred in Humboldt Bay, California, during
the years we have been conducting offshore research on Marbled Murrelets.
In both cases, the oil dispersed along the outer coastline, mainly north of
the bay. We conducted surveys of mammals and birds in the bay and offshore for
several weeks after both events to help inform the response, beginning with
the day of each spill. This afforded us the unique opportunity to develop
new techniques for assessing the impact of oil spills on the bird community.
We have completed our
oil spill monitoring protocol, which includes methods for recording the
amount of oil on birds and on the water, building on our line transect survey
methods. We are currently working on a manuscript based on these surveys.
- Ralph, C.J., P. Kelly, S.L. Miller, and W. Hogoboom. 1998. Methods
to estimate effects on an oil spill on waterbirds in northern California (abstract).
Pacific Seabirds 25(1):40.
- Ralph, C.J., S. Miller, and L. Long. 2010. Boat
survey methodology for oil spill response. U.S. Forest Service, Pacific
Southwest Research Station, Redwood Sciences Laboratory, Arcata, California.
Last modified by L.L. Long