斑海雀， 學名Brachyramphus marmoratus，是一種在北美洲太平洋沿岸原始森林築巢的小海鳥。 1992年時，因其原始森林棲地遭砍伐之故，魚類暨野生物管理局按照瀕危物種法案，把在華盛頓州、奧勒崗州和加州等地的斑海雀列入瀕危物種。
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has released a five-year report finding that continued protection of marbled murrelets in Washington, Oregon, and California is required under the Endangered Species Act.
The marbled murrelet, Brachyramphus marmoratus, is a small seabird that nests in old-growth forests along the Pacific Coast of North America. In 1992, the Fish and Wildlife Service listed the marbled murrelet population in Washington, Oregon, and California as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act due to logging of its old-growth habitat.
"After a thorough review of the best available scientific and commercial information, the status of marbled murrelets in Washington, Oregon and California has not changed and the recovery criteria for removing the species from the federal list of threatened and endangered species have not been met," said Ken Berg, supervisor of the Service's Washington State Office.
The report concludes that, "The species decline has been largely caused by extensive removal of late-successional and old-growth coastal forest which serve as nesting habitat for murrelets."
It comes as Obama administration officials reconsider a Bush administration decision to increase logging of murrelet habitat in old-growth forests in western Oregon.
"Today's report affirms the need to protect old-growth coastal forests used by this seabird to nest and raise their young - yet another in a growing list of reasons that the Obama administration should withdraw the Western Oregon Plan Revisions," said Kristen Boyles, an Earthjustice attorney.
The report finds a 26 percent decline in the Washington, Oregon, and California marbled murrelet population since 2002. It also admits that the genetically distinct central California population has declined by 75 percent since 2003.
For the area from the mouth of the San Francisco Bay to the Canadian border, 2001 to 2008 data show an estimated annual decline of 4.3 percent and a total drop of 34 percent. South of the San Francisco Bay, the decline is steeper - 75 percent from 2003 to 2008. The total population estimate is about 18,000 birds.
The timber industry has filed multiple lawsuits to remove protections from the murrelet. To date, those lawsuits have been unsuccessful.
Represented by Earthjustice, the Audubon Society of Portland, Center for Biological Diversity, Conservation Northwest, Environmental Protection Information Center, Gifford Pinchot Task Force, Oregon Wild, Seattle Audubon Society, Sierra Club, and The Wilderness Society intervened in the timber industry lawsuit to defend the murrelet.
With the new report confirming that the murrelets are in decline, the Fish and Wildlife Service has moved to dismiss the last of the pending timber industry cases.