Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network
Monitoring Project

Seabird Protection Network

Principal Investigator(s)

  • Gerry McChesney
    US Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Karen Reyna
    Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary
  • Sage Tezak
    Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary
Start Date: November 01, 2005

Nesting seabird populations are significant biotic resources of the coast with several breeding hotspots, including the Farallon Islands, Channel Islands, Big Sur, Mendocino and Humboldt county coastlines. Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary (GFNMS) is currently spearheading the Network. The Network coordinates with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Common Murre Restoration Project (, other agencies, Sanctuaries and non-governmental organizations. Since November 2006 the Network has been implementing a regional action plan. The Network has expanded through partnerships with other agencies and organizations and currently extends from the Channel Islands to the Mendocino County line. For more information please visit:

Summary to Date

Through the California Marine Life Protection Act 6 NO ACCESS ZONES have been established around key seabird colonies in the North-Central coast, thereby helping the Network accomplish to it's goal of reducing human disturbance.

The Seabird Protection Network has developed brochures, posters, presentations, signs, literature, exhibits and displays to educate ocean users about the presence of nesting and roosting seabirds, and ways to avoid disturbing them. All materials are available at the Seabird Protection Network website, presentations can be scheduled via e-mail or phone.

Monitoring Trends

  • The monitoring and restoration component of the Network is led by the United States Fish Wildlife Service Common Murre Restoration Project and its collaborators.

    The sources of human disturbance differ by site. At Devilís Slide, low flying aircraft have been the most frequent problem, but more recently stand-up paddleboarders and kayakers have caused disturbances. In addition some areas have experienced disturbance by coastal hikers.

Study Parameters

  • Disturbance
  • Resource Protection
  • Education & Outreach

Figures and Images

Figure 1. Map of major seabird breeding colonies and US Fish & Wildlife Service monitoring sites in central California. Map created by Tim Reed, SIMoN-GFNMS.

Figure 2. Colony of Common Murres. Photo courtesy of PRBO.

Figure 3. Brandt's Cormorant adult and chick. Photo courtesy of Jason Thompson.

Figure 4. Heerman's Gull. Photo courtesy of Jason Thompson.