Information on winter marine bird and mammal distributions in Oregon coastal waters has
been identified as a data need for marine spatial planning of ocean energy development. As
part of the annual marine mammal surveys of the critical habitat for Endangered Species Act
(ESA)-listed Southern Resident Killer Whales (Orcinus orca), National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries mobilized a winter research survey during 16
February to 06 March 2012. To study marine birds. Partnership between NOAA Fisheries
Northwest Fisheries Science Center (Conservation Biology and Fish Ecology divisions) and
the Oregon Wave Energy Trust (OWET) allowed the principal investigator to place two contract
seabird observers on board the Shimada for the entire survey. Deployment of seabird
observers during this winter survey allowed quantitative information of marine bird species,
abundance and behavior to be collected during all daylight hours when the ship was under way
and weather conditions permitted.
This report is meant to provide a concise data summary of methods, survey dates and
locations, and basic information about bird species seen during the surveys. It is not a final
analysis, nor have data been fully processed to provide absolute at-sea density estimates.
Marine mammal observations and other ecosystem data collection were funded entirely by
NOAA Fisheries; these data are in the custody of M. Bradley Hanson and Dawn Noren, who
served as Chief Scientists for the 2012 research survey.
Oregon Wave Energy Trust and the OSU Libraries cooperate to provide long-term access to OWET reports. OSU's ScholarsArchive is the digital repository for continual access to the report. The OWET website, http://www.oregonwave.org, provides immediate access to OWET funded reports.