Assessment of injury to Marbled Murrelets at sites along the Kenai Peninsula and Princ:e William Sound Bird Study Number 6

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1 1 Tllle: Study ID Number: Princi;pa1 InvestipiDI': Lead Agency: Cost of Proposal: Dam of PlaA: Assessment of injury to Marbled Murrelets at sites along the Kenai Peninsula and Princ:e William Sound Bird Study Number 6 Kathy Kuletz U.S. Fish and WUdlife Service $11~.700 March 1989 throup FebrUary 1990 Principal Investigau:r. Marine and Shorebird Oil Spill Damage Assessment Coordinab:r. Mi&nJOI')' Bird Oil Spill 0amaae ~,~_).):d; ~ ~i2 i.raau Grf<nttl\:4~: IO& i) 'ttu. Assessment Study CoordiDarar: H?K.-t ~. ~ -lf= DaD:: tc(1c/<;(<i Biometrician 2,a:/cl!,n,~ 0a1e: tr;,l~hj.. t i I ll ;r Address: U.S. Fish and WUdlife Service 1011 E. TudQr Road Anchorage., Alaska 99~03 Telephone: (907} ACE

2 n. IN'l'RODUcnON As small divin& seabirds which frequent aeanhore areas, marbled murrelets CBrachyramphty mannoratus)!lave one of tbe big.bcst ou vulnc:rabiliry indexes of any seabird \Kin& and Sanger 1979). Alaska represents a significant portion of this species' breedin& popul.atioo (Mendenhall 1988), and the area affected by the Exxog Valdq ou spill has a bi&h population of marbled amrrelets (Dwyer et al. 197~). Thit species is of particular concern because it is on tbe U.S. Fish and WU.dlife Service's Candidate List of Th:rcarened and Endangered speci.el Esti.J:r1a.res of tbe Prince W'illiam Sound mum:let popu1a.tiol1 ranp from 103,(XX) (Dwyer ct al. 1975) to 250,000 (ls.leib and Kessel 1973) suumcr residents. Reliable population estimates at identified breedin& si!cs of muii'elcts are difticult to obtain, because. of the species' wide disaibutioa and secretive aestina babits. 1b115y injury to marbled mwtelets can only be ascertair.led by at-sea ccnsusia& u sites with bisu:aic daal. or collection of adults f<x' evideace of coruaminadon. Thit study will estimate local at-sea densities of m.umlca dmidg lhe snj'judcif months u sires witb historic data. ill order to test fat a potential n:duction in tbe adult population subsequent to the Exxog Valdez ou spill. Lona-u:rm injury ro breedin& potential will be estimated by quantifying breeding activity and testin& adults for conr.armnalion witb petroleum hydroc3rboa.s by analysis of tissue samples. The inaea.scd human presence in Prince W' Sound in 1989 may be an important factor cff'ecting murrelct densities <X' activity paaems, which wib need to be distinguished from an actual decliae in popularioa. Tbe dala collected will enable analysis of murrelct densities in bays rclalive to human activity, includin& traffic onbeach. by boat and low flying aircraft. It i.s possible to monitor local lllui'ie1et popularions using methodologies recendy developed for cen.susin& marbled mumd.ets (Can:r 1984, Paron and Ralph Paron ct al Kuletz 1989). In Alaska. detailed bisrdric data is available for Naked Island (Oakley and Kuletz 1979, Ku1etz unpubl data), St. Matthews Bay I Olsen Bay in Port Gravina (Iroas,. unpubl dua) and K.achemak Bay (Erickson Kuletz 1989). Single censuses are available for areas of Prir:lce W' Sound (Hopn and Murk 1982, Irons 1988) and the south side of tbe Kenai Peninsula (Bailey 1m, Nishimoto and Rice 1987). III. OBJECTIVES Tbe swed objectives in rhil plan differ sli&hdy from chose given in tbe Public Review Draft (Aupst. 1989). Objectiw A in tbe August plaa:l has bee:d split into objectives A add B fer tbe dctadec:l study plm. A. To rest tbe hypocbesis that u sites with bistaric daa.. tbe mean densities of marbled murrelets fojlowiag tbe Eqog Valdez oil spill are noc significantly d.iff'erent from their respective mean dedsitiel in prim' yean., c.~ ~,~s\~

3 B. To estimarc the local murrelet at-sea densities of selected oiled and unoiled sites of Pri.ace William Sound and the Kenai Peninsula (with 9S% confidence level). to serve as baseline data for studies on the n:covery of local populations of murrelets affected by the oil spill C. To provide a quantifiable index of breeding activity at sites with known populations of ma.rbled murrclets. u both oiled and unoiled sites. D. To test far differeuccs in exposure to petroleum hydrocarbons for adult marbled murrelets in oiled and unoiled sites by collectina adult birds for ti.uue samples. E. To identify potential alternative methods and straj:ep,s for restoration of lost use, popuj.atioos. or babital wbefe injury is identified. IV. MEniODS A. Samplins Methods Objective A:. Testina for diffc:renc:cs in murrclct densities At-sea ccnsusinc of murrelets Area of marbled murrclct at-sea sujj11tla' concentrations are usually consistent (Ca:rter 1984, Ku.lctz 1989). This study will estimate murrelet at-sea density in 1989 tar area wbich were ccnsused pri«to the oil spill Three of the study siles have data from replicate censuses pri«to tbe oil spill: 1) Naked Island. 2) IUc.hemak Bay, 3) St. Maahcws and Olsen Bay, Port Gravina. Tbe 1989 CCDSWJeS to determide at-sea densities will follow methods outlined in Kulet:z Tbe basic methcd will be observatioa from small bow on esaablisbed tr:a.a.sec1:s or sections of shoreline. Approxiawely 1 S 20 Km of ttanicc1i will be dooe at eadl study sice to mjnjmiz vlll'iaaxe from small-scale DlD\IC'mi:DI ot ID'UI1'eJetl. To ins1:lre peak mu:rrelct numbers and n:duce variability, plimll'y CCDSUJeS will be conducted between 0600 and 0900 hours. The two obla vas will recorc1 murre1ets oa the water out to 250 m from the boat. usinl dara fondi. Ally ada:pw:ioas spec:itic to this study are explained below. Pilot studies t11jc1idi mmrelets in Alaska have shown day-ro-day variability in dellsida resultin1 in a coeffic:icnt of variajion nmcm1 from 16" to S4%. (Kulct:z 1988, Iroas, unpubl data). Tbe number of replicar.e tta.nsects (sample size) will dcpedd oa the oa site variability in murrclet numbers. Assuminc an average of 3011 CV, a mjrrimum sample size of four, add preferably up to eight, replicate tradseds will be n:qu:irl:d ac each site. These censuses should be CODduct.ed oa consecutive days or u close as possible.. to n:duce seasonal effects oa munelet auendanc;e, As a control for 1989 seasonal changes in at1endance. ACE

4 a r:nore intensive effort will be conducted on Saked Island, where field crews will attempt a minimum of eight replicau:s each for early and tare season. cen.susing periods. Variability among census days can be significantly reduced by conducting censuses between approximately 7 IWle to 7 July (Kulct:z et a ). However, K.adlemak Bay bad the highest rnurrelet densities in l.are July. At least two sites will be cen.sused in late July to early August to deu:rrnine if this pattern is consistent among sires. Jf so, la!e summer censuses rnay be used to obtaiil maximum cmmaa:s of the tocal m.urrelet populatioa. Effects of weather and viewing platform Historic data were obtained by a variety of methods and observ~ in addition to variable wear:ber conditions. The small size and sca.ttaed distribution of murrelets are likely to increase the impact these factors have 011 derived density estimates. Dara on envirom::cental coa.ditioas will be co1lec:ted. exist in most historic dar&. to test far effect~ on murre let density ar deteetabili.ty. In this smdy will attempt to derive a correction factor for viewing pwform as well, by testing for significant differen=s in at-sea rnurrelet observations taken from a 2j ft vessel and a 12 ft inflatable raft. At lea.u six paired transects will be conducu:d. by botb beals. within 2 hours of each other, on the same day. Adjustment for difference in visibility rates will be made if differences are found to be significant. Comparisons among years will be made using standardized or adjusled counts to minimize procedural effect~ on couna. Effect of human di.s1:urba.nce accuracy of boar trad.!icctl At-!ea mt.jd'elct densities derived from surveys cond.uaed by boas. although convenient and used most frequently, have aot been tested against an indepcndcnt census method. Murrelet ouiilben rnay be significantly underestimared by boat surve~ due to the murrelet's small size and avoidance behavia: (Dwyer et al 197~, Sealy and Caner 1984, Kulet:z. pen. obs.) To test tbc nun hypochesis that there ij DO difference in density estimates between different metbods.. m.urrelet couna will be dooe from land-based obscrvadoa sites viewing the same areas ttavened by boat. At least 10 of the on ladd couna will be paired wirh concurrent boat couna, witb the on-land observer m.akinl COUDII prior to, during after tbc boat ttansit. On-land COUDJI will follow tbc standard operating procedures outlined in Kulea: 1989, wijil sile-spedfic adapw:ions to be outlined in a scmdard operating procedure. Tesdng far lodi ICI'ID sigrrifiaat d.i:ffi:redces in a:mrrelct populadoa trends in ~CE 31381!1

5 heavily oiled and unoiled areas will requin: more study sites. In addition to the three SU1dy sites with detailed historic data. other ~u of Prince William Sound and the lower Kenai Peninsula have qualitative or singlc..cen.sus records of mutrelct densities. This study will expand on and quantify thi.'s data base to more a.ccu:rajely define the IIW1'1'elct population for future monitorin& of chanaes in the popularioa. The at-sea cen.susins methods dcsaibed above will be used. with onladd counts included at Naked Waod and Ea&le.k Bay. Based on the availability of historic data and depee of oilina. the followina study site~ wen: chosen: 1) Ingot IslaDd to Herrin& Bay on Knight Island. heavily oiled. 2) West side of Nabc:l Island, mod.era%e to li&htly oiled. 3) Kachemak Bay, "weadlered" oil appearinj periodically. 4) Ea&)ek Bay, an udoiled sije norm of Naked Isla.Dd. 'l SL Matthews and Olsen Bay in Port GraviDa. an unoiled ma in eastem Prince WilliarD SOUDd. Two cen.sus crews, of 2-3 personnel each, will rotate araonj the sites such that census days are clusu:xed u close u possible at any one site. and each site is censu.sed at least four times durin& the period of mid 1une to mid Iuly. Objective C: QuantifyinJ bn:edin& activity Because of the marbled mu:rrelet's unique nestina requirements and threatened nestina habitat, methods are bein& developed to detect general nesting distributioo and provide an index of mean activity level. {or. "detection index"). Tbe J.aar:r is bein& tested for use u an indicatioo of the size of the local nesting populadoa. for yar to-year tredd analysis. This smdy will follow methods described by Paron et al. (1989) and Nelson (1988). with some modificaliorl for intensive survey of wildcmess 3lUS without road or a:ail access. In general. audio and visual records are from set points of JIWI1'elets makinj overla:ad tli&hts. from 30 mid prior to and 1 hour after sumise. M1.111elcts exchange incubatioo duties or feed their chickj at this time.. fiyinj from feedinj grounds at sea to their nests in the trees (Varoujean et al. 1988). PaiDil ec a1. (1989) CODCludcd tlw thn:e n:plicare wucbes (clustered by date if possible) were suffidcnt to deu:rmide if nestinj pairs are active in a given area. and to deri:ve an averaae "detectioo level". At selec:ted sires (to be decided on locadoa. depeddi.nj oo acccss9 viewin& an:a and appropri.are weather conditions). tbrcl dawd surveys will be conducted OD separa1e mominp. spaced as close togetbe:r u possible. duridj the aestlinj pbase (approximately mid June to mid 1uly). Tbere are qualitative historic records availab~ aad apptoptiate watch sita cbosed. far two locatioiu oo Naked Island. and ooe locadoo in Kachema.k Bay. 1"bo OCCWlefX:e of juvenile ID.Irtelcts OD tbe W8.Cer (be&inninl in early 1uly) will also be coasi.dcrcd u evidcdce that bn:edidj wu attempted. u well u provide chronological daja far comparison amo111 years. The rajio of juvenile ro adult ACE

6 mu:n:elets observed on the water durin& transects will be used as a relative index of year-to-year breeding success. 1 ' Objective D: Terdn& far exposure to petroleum hydroca:rbons Petroleum hydrocarbon analysis will confirm exposure to the presumed cause of impact. This will be important in determination of injury to marbled murrelets since Uale information can be obtained on loss of reproductive viability. Birds will be collec:u:d at t1m:e sita: near Inaoc Wand (heavily oilec:l), Naked Island (lilht to modera.tely oiled) and Ea&lek Bay (unoiled). Ten birds will be takt:n from each me, followin& procedures outlined in the State/Federal Alsessment Plan. Technical Savices Study Number 1.!' \ Objective B: Identi.fyin& stratepes f«restorajioa The results &om stuctia doae by lbe Coastal Habiw and rub/shellfish study teams will be ina:eara=l with the results of this study to identify areas where marbled IJ.1IJ%'rClet populations are at i'f111t!tdiace and lona-rerm risk. Where mum:let popularions indicace a decline from previous studies. but the marine habitat and prey source do not suucst chronic contamination. protection of nesti.n& areu may suffice to enable restoration of the population. Important aesti.n& areu can be identified usi:d& methods described in objective c of this study. In areu of couw or prey conramjnatioo, restoration of affected murrelet populatioi!i will depend oa recommcndatioi!i by the appropriale study teams as well u p1'0ulclioj1 of IDUil."Clet aettin& habitat. In addition to the above, the effecu of human distarba:ace, as deu:rminod by tbi.s study under Objective A. will help to ddiae acceptable levels of human activity near murrelet populations of particular sensitivity. B. Ciwioas Lia:erar:ure cilr:d in refenmce to methods are lisu:d in sec:tioa vm. C. Standard. Operatin& Procedure R.equil'ements Scaadlnl Ope:ratin& Procedures are described in sectioa vn. D..Eqtdpmenc ~ Not applk:ablc. ACE

7 E. Quality Assurance and Conttol Plans Field personnel will t:'te trained in the data collection techniques by the Principal Investiprar. Transect data will be recorded on data forms. All tissue samples for petroleum hydrocarbon contaminants will be collected and analyzed according to tbe procedures outlined in the SWC/Fedcral Damage Assessment Plan. A.aalytical Olemisay Quality AS3urancc/Quallty ControL F. Histopathology Noc applicable G. Information RequiRe! Prom Other InvestigatOrS V. Data A.aalysis A. Tem Data on tbe degree of oiling a.t selc:cted study sire. will be required from the Coastal Habitat Study, the Air/Wat~::r Studies. and the Technical Services Study Number 3. Results of this study will be integnued with those of Bird Studies 1 and 2 w provide estimara of overall monality of awblcd murrele~ and (by inference) of ocher birds with similar distributions and feeding behavior. These results will support determination of damages to rec:reational and intrinsic values under Economic Uses Studies!I and 7. Tem far differences in IDUl'l"elet at-sea densities between study sira, current and historic dua. and between viewinl platforms are described in section VII. B. A.oalytical Mctbods Objective A:. HiSIIJiica1 cwa will be staddardized add entaed into tbe Paradox3 data system to be cmrent widl 1989 aod subsequent data. Transect counts will be conected for or saatificd by viewing plalform. babiw, seasoa (early, mid or late summer), time ol day, weatber and ride conditions. StaDd.ardi.21=d counts will be used to obtain a yearly index for historical data. A.aotber test will be made to deu::rmiae if tbe post-oilial year index value is significantly dif'f'en:nt from tbe historical annual index. ThiJ test will be performed if at least 3 yean of bisulrical dua are available. Otherwise, tests amodi yean will be based OD error derived from within year replications. ACE

8 Objective 8: ' At-sea densities derived by different methodt will be tested. far significant d:i.ffi::rences usin& t tcst or equivalent nonparamctric prccedu:res as needed. Paired observations will be analyzed by paired Hestand/or Wilcoxon signed rank: tests. Results will indicate it a correction factcr needs to be applied to the boal t:ra.asect counts to derive a population estimate Effec:1:s of environmental conditions on vi.cwin& adjjjor mum:let pre::seaa: will be tested multivariate techn;ques. V ari.ance in densities among days for each smdy site will serve to define future sample sizes. Objective C: No swistical tests are applicable at tbis time. Objective D: Oi.f!ereDc:es in level of pettoleum bydroc:arbons in tissue samples between birds from oiled add anoiled sires will be tested usin& two sample t-tcsts allowing for UDeqUa1 variances. Distribution free (nonparametric) prccedu:res will be used as needed. A loa transformation may be applied to normalize data befon: t tests are performed. Objective E: No sw:i.sdcal tests are applicable at tbis time. c. Procluca 1. Map of transects and on-ladd observad.oil starions. 2.. Maps of disaibutioo and abundaaa: of mul'l'elets within study sites. 3. Tables of muxrelet densities and estimated populalion derived from boat t:ransects and OD Imd observalioos. 4. Table of over-lmd detections fcx murrelets at each observation station. ' Graphs showing murrelet density u a fudctiod of environmental.. seasonal and die! factors. 6. Graphs showing murrelet densities pre and post oil spill at sites with historic dall. 7. Report syntbesizina tbe results of tbis study. VL Samout.BS AND PLANNINO A. 011& Suba:daioo. Schedule Beam field wom Complete field work Complete draft report June 1989 Auguat 1989 December ~ce

9 """ B. Special Rcpons Noae C. Visual Dara Noae D. Sample and Data Archival Adult mum:lcts c:oj..tected for tissue samples will be deposited in the custody of Everett Robinson-Wlllsoa. USI'WS, Anchorage. Alaska. Copies of the field data sheets add notebooks will be archived in the Service's oil spill file system at the Marine and Coastal Bird Project, Anchorage, Alaska. E. Manapment PlaD. P. This study will be managed by the Pri.Dcipal Investiprar, who will work under the gnenlguidance of the USFWS M.ariDe Bird Shorebird Oil Spill Study Coordinaror (Marine Bird and Shorebird Coordilwor) and Migratory Bird Oil Spill Study Coordina.UX' or their designees. The Marine Bird and Shorebird Coordinator is responsible for achciving maximum coordination with all other maride bird oil spill studies during the planning, implementing and reporting phases of the studies. The Principal InvestigaUX' will be responsible for coordinatil1g the collectioa of field dam.. analysis of data and completing draft final r"p.nv!l. Logislicl Field surveys in Prince William Sound will be dooe from a ~ ft. vessel operaaed by tbe tie1d crew, wim inshore censuses at some locations conducted from an inflatable raft. The main field camp will be located in Cabin Bay on Naked Island. A secondary camp will be established at Agayuuce Bay, Eaglek Bay. 1be ~ ft vessel will be used for overnight stays at other sices. Logistical support. idcj:odinl camp tradipci't. gasolide food. will be provided by the MV Curlew Surveys in IC.achemak Bay will be operarcd. from the Alaska Ma:ririrrw Narioaal Wlldlife Refuge in Homer, using the Refuge's ~ ft. Boston "Nbbler. 'I,j,. ACE

10 VII. BUDGET A. Costs (To March 1, 1990) Sala:rics P~- Kuletz.90FI'B Vacant Temporaries.60FI'B Subtcml TraveVPer Diem ConUICts Supplia Equipment Tocal B. Penoanel See vn.a. C. Qualificarioas S33,CXX> $55,700 $10,CXX> ,(XX) $11$, Principal Investigator'- Kathy Kuletz Kathy Kuletz received her Muter's degree from the University of California. IrviDe, in From 1978 to 1981 established baseline data tix the seabirds and marine mammals of Naked and neighboring islands fer the U.S. Fuh and Wildlife Service. During this time, as prineipal investigaur, she completed research far her thesis on the foraging ecojosy add reproductive suc:ceu of pipoa guillcmocs. Her experience wilh marbled mmrel.ea. the DlOit abundaut bird at N Wd Island, ted to ba' 1988 study of chis species in K.acbemak Bay for the Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. Ms. Ku.lctz wu involved in several fisbc:ries projec1s in Alaska with the U.S. Fish and Wtldlife Service in the lare 1970's. rn 1980 she c:onducu:d shipboard surveys of seabuds in the BeriDg Sea u pan of the PROBES projects. In tbc 1980's she worked far Dames md Moore consulting on aerial surveys fer wuerfowl and far LGL A.l.u.ka Raearch Associates smdying OJ.Ddra birds at Prudhoe Bay. vm. ClTA'llONS.. BaileJ, B.P. 1m. Dlaribada:t add abundance of marine buds and mammals along the saadl side~ tbe ICcDai PeDinsu1a. Alaska. Murrelet 58 (3):j8-72. Carta-, H..R At-sea biology of tbc marbled murrelct <BD~Chmmphua ma1l'l'!t!'!lt!l in Batley Sound. Bridsb Columbia. M.Sc.. tbcsis. University of Manitoba. W'umipeg. ManitOba.. ACE I I t

11 Dwyer. TJ.. P. Isleib, D.A. Davenport. J.L. Haddock Marine Bird Populations in PriDce Wllliam SOUDd. Alaska. UnpubL Rep. Ftsh add Wild!ife Service. ~AX. HogaD. M..E. and J. Murk Seasonal dutriburion of marine birds in Prince William Sound. based oa aerial surv~ UnpubL Rep. Fuh and Wildlife Service. Ancharage. AX. Irons, D.B., D.R. Nyscwander and J.L. Trapp Prince William Sound waterbird distr:ibur:iod in rclatioa to habir.u type. U npubl Rep. Fuh add Wildlife Service. ADchorap. AX. I.sleib, M..E.. and B. Kessel Birds of Nortb Gulf Coast Prince WUJ.iam Sound Re&]oa. Aluka. Biological Report. Univ. of A1asb No pp. King. J.G. add G.A. Sanaer Oil vulnerability index for marine oriented birds. pp II! J.C. Banooek and. D.N. Nettleship eds. Con.servari~ of M.a:rine Birds of Nartbem Nonh A.meriaL Fuh and Wildlife Service, Wtldlife Research Rep. No.ll. Washingtoa.. D.C. Kuletz. K.J., V. Mendenhall and M. Nishimoto Variability in repeat censusing of Marbled Murrelets in K.acbemak Bay, Alaska. S1JIT111'Cf Pacific Seabird Group: Research IDd Management of Marbled Mu:rrelets. Symposium abst Sept _ Murrelet IDd disuibutioa observed in Kachemak Bay, Alaska. SJunmcr UnpubL Rep.. AK Maritime Na.L W'lldl. Refuge. Homer, AK. Mendenhall, V..M Distribulioa. bn:edin1 records and conservation problems of tbe marbled murrejet in Ala.s.ka. UnpubL Rep. Fish and Wtldlife Service. ~ AX. Proceedinp of W. of Vert. ZooL m;2 by H.R. Ca:rter. Point Reyes Bird Observaay. Nelsoa. LK Developi:Dent of inventory techniques for surveying marbled murrclets in c:oaiferoas forst's of tbe Oregoa Coast Range. Abst., Padtic Seabird Group Symposium: Research and Management of Marbled Mu:rre.lets. Sept. 1988, OR. Nishi~ M. and B. R.iaf Receasus of seabirds and marine mammals on the DJdl side al tbe Kenai Peninsula durin1 sn1tl11'cf of Admin. Rep. AK Maritime Nu. W'Udl. Refup. Homer, AK. Oakley, K.L. and. IC. KuJeu SniDI"'W disttibutioll and abundance of marine birds and mammals oar Naked Island. Alaska UnpubL Rep. F11h and Wildlife Service. ADcborap, Alt. ACE

12 Paton. P.W. and CJ. Ralph A census method for marbled murrelcts at i.nlaad sires. Abst. Pacific Seabird Group Symposium: Research aad. ManagctDent of Marbled Murrelcts. Sept., 1988, Pordaod. OR. _. CJ. Ralph add H.R. Caner Tho Pad:f:k Seabird Group's Marbled Murrelet survey add intensive inventcry handbook. Sealy, s. add H.R.. Carter At-sea distribuaoo add nestina habitat of tbe Marbled Murrelet in British Columbia: problems in the conservation of a solitarily nestin1 seabi:rd. Pp lt{ I..P. Croxall, P.O.H. Evans, and R. W. Schreiber edl. Status add Conservad.on of the Worfd's Seabirds. ICBP Tcc:b. PubL No. 2. Varoujean. DJL. W.A. Wil1iazm, D.R. Warrick Fmdinp add efficacy in radiorelemeay to locaa: tbe nests of Marbled Murrelets. Pacific Seabird Group Symposium: R.cseazeh add Management of Marbled Murrelets. Portland OR. Sept IX. OTHER INFORMAnON None. ACE