Earlier this month a federal judge ruled that Marbled Murrelets would remain protected under the Endangered Species Act, despite a movement by the timber industry to remove these protections and expand logging activities in coastal forests. This has been the fourth failed attempt made by the timber industries in the Pacific Northwest to eliminate protection for Marbled Murrelet habitat. In addition, the court ruled that the old growth forest areas where these birds nest will remain protected from deforestation for the next three years. The Marbled Murrelet has been listed as threatened by the Endangered Species Act since 1992.
Old growth forests are used by the Marbled Murrelets for nesting and raising their young, making the existence of the habitat critical for murrelet survival. These small Alcids create nests high on the branches of inland old growth trees. At night, they fly to the coast to fish and hunt food for their nestlings: a unique nesting behavior makes Marbled Murrelets especially vulnerable.
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