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Current Story: A Day in the Life of a WERC Seabird Scientist

Ashy storm-petrel (Oceanodroma homochroa) with metal identification band being held by a USGS researcher

Ashy storm-petrel (Oceanodroma homochroa) with metal identification band. (Credit: Max Czapanskiy, USGS Pacific Region. Public domain.)

In the above photo, WERC scientists search for potential nesting habitat of seabirds like the Ashy Storm-Petrel (Oceanodroma homochroa) on False Klamath Rock off the coast of California.

The WERC seabird research team operates out of Santa Cruz, CA. Under the guidance of Dr. Josh Adams, the team monitors the health of seabird populations and maps out the distributions of seabirds and their habitat for resource managers. Ultimately, these studies will help inform the conservation of seabird populations and marine offshore energy planning for the future.

Currently, the seabird team is deploying acoustic monitoring devices that will automatically record the calls of the Ashy Storm-Petrel, an elusive, nocturnal seabird known to nest only on offshore rocks and islands throughout California and northern Baja California, Mexico.

The scientists’ goal is to learn more about Ashy Storm-Petrel nesting sites, and the night-time behavior of Ashy Storm-Petrels visiting different rocks throughout their range. These data are helping land and wildlife managers with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and other agencies conserve healthy seabird populations.

Check out the team's research on social media (FacebookInstagramTwitter) and explore the project pages for more details.