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Status Review of Marbled Murrelet As Endangered

The Fish and Wildlife Commission will consider whether to reclassify the marbled murrelet from Threatened to Endangered under the state’s Endangered Species Act during a meeting Friday, July 9. The meeting starts at 8 a.m. and will be livestreamed on ODFW’s YouTube channel; watch it from here https://www.dfw.state.or.us/agency/commission/minutes/

Several guest panelists have been invited to testify during the meeting. Public testimony will be taken during the meeting. To sign up, register at the following page no later than 48 hours before the meeting (by 8 a.m. Wednesday, July 7), https://www.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_Elu57YXrTtySuJ5-4YWTIw

Comments can also be emailed to odfw.commission@odfw.oregon.gov

The Oregon Endangered Species Act sets out criteria and procedural requirements that apply to the Commission’s determination on whether to reclassify a species. To reclassify or uplist the marbled murrelet as Endangered, the Commission must determine that since 1995 (when the species was listed as Threatened), the likelihood of survival of the species has diminished such that the species is in danger of extinction throughout any significant portion of its range within Oregon. The Commission’s decision must be based on documented and verifiable scientific information.

The Commission must also determine that at least one of the following factors exists:

  1. that most populations are undergoing imminent or active deterioration of their range or primary habitat; or

  2. that overutilization of the species or its habitat for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes is occurring or is likely to occur; or

  3. that existing state or federal programs or regulations are inadequate to protect the species or its habitat.

Based on these criteria, ODFW staff are recommending that the marbled murrelet remain state-listed as Threatened. ODFW does not believe the likelihood of survival of the species has diminished in Oregon since 1995, such that the species is in danger of extinction. The estimated population of murrelets in Oregon has increased since state listing and the amount of habitat with a higher probability for nesting is likely to continue to increase over time in Oregon with continued implementation of federal and state laws, policies, and programs that protect and enhance habitats across all land ownerships. For more details, see the Biological Assessment prepared by staff.

The Commission may also hold an executive session during the meeting. This executive session is held pursuant to ORS 192.660 (2)(f) to consider information or records that are exempt by law from public inspection, as well as to consult with legal counsel concerning legal rights and duties regarding current litigation likely to be filed as authorized by ORS 192.660 (2)(h). Under Oregon state law, executive sessions are closed to the public. Representatives of the news media are allowed to attend. Reporters are directed not to report on the discussions during executive session, except to state the general subject. No decisions will be made in executive session.

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