About | Zone 6 Marbled Murrelet Landscape Management Plan | Research | Keep it Crumb Clean Campaign | Forestry Management |

The finding of the first marbled murrelet nest in Big Basin during the summer of 1974 was the start of many murrelet related studies and management actions. First, a version of what we now call Audio Visual Surveys were done in different areas and expanded to include surveys At-Sea and Radar at river mouths. Eventually as predators and their potentially significant impact was known we also began surveying Corvids such as the Steller’s Jay, Ravens and Crows, more recently Peregrine falcons.

The Landscape Management Plan includes a summary of all significant Audio Visual (AV) surveys history in Table 2-7. The surveys completed on State Parks are available below.

Additional information about the marbled murrelet can be found on the California Department of Fish and Wildlifes BIOS page. Click on the BIOS Viewer (Public & Secure) link, type marbled murrelet into the pages search bar and you can seemaps of critical habitat map, predicted habitat and range. Murrelet occurrences are available through CNDDB/RareFind (available to the public with a subscription). RareFind allows you to query specific species occurrences.

Murrelet Research


Predator Research

Elena West PhD from University of Wisconsin along with fellow researchers looked at Steller’s Jay ecology in Big Basin, Butano, Jedidiah Smith and Prairie Creek in Northern California.

Behavioral mechanisms leading to improved fitness in a subsidized predator.

The research was published in Oecologia, June 2017.

Influence of food subsidies on the foraging ecology of a synanthropic species in protected areas.

This research was published in Ecosphere, October 2017.

A final paper from this work is expected in 2018/2019.

Currently, research continues on Steller’s Jays, 2018 was the second year of field work evaluating the success of a suite of recent Steller’s jay management actions implemented by California State Parks, including the Crumb Clean Campaign, controlled taste aversion (the deployment of noxious mimic eggs), and improved trash management. 

Reports will be posted as they are available.


We have also begun Conditioned Taste Aversion (CTA) which tries to use the intelligence of jays to train them not to eat marbled murrelets.

2012 Conditioned Taste Aversion Research
2013 Conditioned Taste Aversion Research
2015 Conditioned Taste Aversion Research
2016 Conditioned Taste Aversion Research
2017-2018 No CTA occurred.