Committees work to further the goals of the Pacific Seabird Group. Members are encouraged to participate and contribute to the activities of the committees. Non-members can contact committee coordinators to obtain further information.
The Communications Committee oversees publication of Pacific Seabird Group's Technical Papers and Symposia, assists with production of "Pacific Seabirds" if necessary, and provides information to the editors of "Marine Ornithology" as needed. The Communications Committee includes the website coordinator, list-serve coordinator, Marine Ornithology managing editor, the Editor of Pacific Seabirds and other members appointed by the Chair. Contact Verena Gill for further information.
Marbled Murrelet Technical Committee
The Marbled Murrelet Technical Committee (MMTC) was created in 1986 for the purpose of assembling researchers and other interested parties to integrate research objectives and methods, and share information on the biology of murrelets. The Marbled Murrelet is listed as threatened in British Columbia (Canada), Washington, Oregon and California (USA). This committee has been very active in sponsoring symposia, writing research protocols, holding workshops, and commenting on federal and state management actions related to forests and oceans. The most notable contributions of this committee include cooperation with government agencies in creating protocols for surveying Marbled Murrelets in forests and emphasizing the necessity of research on this species. In addition, two symposia have been published on murrelets. The committee is comprised of a Coordinator and numerous sub-committees, including inland research, at-sea research, education, rehabilitation of injured birds, and research priorities. For more information on the activities of the MMTC contact Kim Nelson (Kim.Nelson[at]oregonstate.edu) or Dave Huber (dhuber[at]q.com).
This committee takes an active role in promoting conservation of seabirds. Current activities include following issues and legislation relating to seabird conservation, oil spill litigation, by-catch of albatrosses and other seabirds in fisheries and keeping all PSG members appraised of developments. The Conservation Committee often provides support for seabird conservation measures and criticism of activities that will likely harm seabirds or the marine environment.
Many seabird colonies and populations have been lost or severely depleted owing to such factors as mortality from oil spills, introduction of mammalian predators and fishery conflicts. PSG provides expertise in re-establishing these populations. Often this takes the form of reviewing restoration plans drafted by agencies charged with follow-up for various court-ordered actions following oil spills, etc. Currently, the committee is involved with the issue Caspian Tern predation of salmon smolts from the Columbia River; the problem can be solved, in part, if former Caspian Tern breeding colonies in the region can be restored.
For more information about the activities of this committee, please contact Craig S. Harrison, Vice Chair for Conservation.
Scripps's and Guadalupe Murrelet Technical Committee
Xantus's Murrelet has been split into Scripps's and Guadalupe Murrelets. The Scripps's Murrelet is a small and secretive seabird whose breeding range is limited to islands off the coast of Baja California, Mexico, and the Channel Islands off southern California. Within the United States, these birds nest principally within Channel Islands National Park, with the largest colony at Santa Barbara Island. Studies in the late 1980's and early 1990's suggested that the U.S. populations of this rare seabird were declining. In the early 1990s, PSG established the Xantus's Murrelet Technical Committee to review the threats facing the species and its current status and consider whether the species was in need of special protections under the Endangered Species Act. The Committee has made management recommendations to the national park and other agencies, and has helped to facilitate studies to gather information useful for assessing population trends. In 2002, PSG submitted petitions to both the California Department of Fish and Game and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list the murrelet under the state and federal ESAs, respectively (click here to see the petition submitted to the state of California; click here to see the petition submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service). On February 5, 2004, the California Fish and Game Commission voted to list the species as threatened in California (http://www.dfg.ca.gov/news/news04/04017.html). The Committee continues to assess the status of and threats to the species, and to coordinate research and conservation efforts in the US and Mexico. For further information contact Shaye Wolfe.
Kittlitz's Murrelet Technical Committee
The Kittlitz's Murrelet Technical Committee (KMTC) was formed in 2008 to begin addressing concerns related to the status and conservation of this rare seabird. The Kittlitz’s Murrelet is currently listed as a candidate under the Endangered Species Act. The purpose of the KMTC is to (1) act as a technical authority on the status, distribution, and life history of the Kittlitz's murrelet; (2) identify, encourage, and facilitate research; (3) address conservation problems related to the Kittlitz's murrelet; and (4) act as a liaison between research and management. The KMTC currently comprises roughly 40 members that meet annually in conjunction with the PSG annual meeting and occasionally at other opportunistic venues. We have an active listserve to help facilitate communication among members. For more information, please contact John Piatt.
Seabird Monitoring Committee
Seabird monitoring is the accumulation of time series data on any aspect of seabird distribution, abundance, demography, or behavior. The Seabird Monitoring Committee was formed in 1992 to promote: (a) a better coordinated program for monitoring Pacific seabirds, (b) greater standardization of field methods, (c) timely availability of results, and (d) effective use of seabirds as indicators of local and large-scale change in the Pacific marine environment. The committee has active participation of seabird investigators from all 5 Pacific states, as well as Canada, Mexico, Russia, and Japan. Currently, its major project is the development of a comprehensive database for seabird monitoring results from throughout the North Pacific. Though not yet available for general release, the Pacific Seabird Monitoring Database includes more than 11,000 observations, each representing an annual measure of some population parameter (e.g., numbers, productivity, survival, breeding chronology, or other) for a given species, location, and year. Those observations comprise about 1,800 time series spanning 1 to 37 years since studies were initiated. Some quantity of information is available on 54 species breeding in 190 locations. A draft version of the database is now undergoing review and error-checking by cooperators; wider distribution via the Internet is anticipated within 1-2 years. For further information contact Scott Hatch.
The Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels (ACAP)
ACAP is a multilateral agreement which seeks to conserve albatrosses and petrels by coordinating international activity to mitigate known threats to albatross and petrel populations.
Chinese Crested Tern Committee
Corresponding Members Committee
Craig S. Harrison Conservation Fund Committee
Endowment Fund Trustees Committee