Defenders of Wildlife and allied conservation groups applaud the action taken by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW)  Commission to uplist the marbled murrelet from “threatened” to “endangered".

“Today’s decision is a victory for the marbled murrelet,” said Sristi Kamal, Senior Representative for the Northwest Program at Defenders of Wildlife. “After four years of advocating to uplist the species, this decision has been a long time coming, and we are thrilled.”

Portland, ORE.

Defenders of Wildlife and allied conservation groups applaud the action taken by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW)  Commission to uplist the marbled murrelet from “threatened” to “endangered,” a move that further protects the species in the state.   

“Today’s decision is a victory for the marbled murrelet,” said Sristi Kamal, Senior Representative for the Northwest Program at Defenders of Wildlife. “After four years of advocating to uplist the species, this decision has been a long time coming, and we are thrilled.”  

Marbled murrelets are a rare seabird that nest in the remaining old-growth forests along the northern Pacific Coast and forage at sea. Protecting murrelet habitat not only benefits this imperiled species, it also contributes to climate resilience and carbon sequestration, improves water quality and promotes healthier watersheds. 

ODFW’s governor-appointed commission, which includes seven commissioners from throughout the state, initially heard the petition for uplisting the marbled murrelet in 2018, but declined to uplist the species at that time. Defenders of Wildlife and other environmental groups brought a lawsuit against the ODFW and a state circuit court ruled in our favor. As part of the ruling, ODFW’s commission was tasked with revisiting their decision and providing adequate justification for declining to uplist the species. 

“Marbled murrelets face significant habitat loss due to excessive logging,” said Kamal.  “In addition, warming ocean waters due to climate change is impacting the species ability to forage and nest. We applaud the commission   for taking a big step in the right direction which will give this species a much-needed opportunity to recover in the state.” 

With this decision, Oregon finally joins Washington and California in providing the highest level of protection for the Marbled Murrelet along the entire West Coast.  Now that the murrelets are classified as endangered, the Oregon Endangered Species Act requires the applicable state agencies to develop new endangered species recovery and management plans. In the meantime, mandatory survival guidelines ‒ quantifiable and measurable guidelines necessary to ensure the survival of individual members of the species ‒ will be adopted to protect species until the new management plans are approved by the commission.
 

Defenders of Wildlife is celebrating 75 years of protecting all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With a nationwide network of nearly 2.2 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit defenders.org/newsroom and follow us on Twitter @Defenders.

Media Contact

Communications Specialist
hhammer@defenders.org
(202) 772-0295
Senior Northwest Representative

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