Video of FEB 20th Community Program - Observing and Conserving the Seabirds that Rely on California’s Central Coast


Brandt's Cormorant [photo by Dan Robinette]

MCAS Virtual Community Program

TOPIC:                 Observing and Conserving the Seabirds that Rely on California’s Central Coast

PRESENTOR:    Dan Robinette, Point Blue Conservation Science

DATE:                  February 20th, 2023, 7:00 pm

View video of program on MCAS's YouTube Channel.

Seabirds are a highly visible and charismatic feature of central California’s coast. They have adapted to ocean life by living long and providing increased parental care to offspring compared to other birds. These characteristics make them both a source of fascination to recreationists as well as a great research tool for studying changes in the ocean. In fact, seabirds can be easily included in both scientific monitoring and volunteer-based community science programs. Unfortunately, life on the California coast can come at a cost for seabirds. As the number of humans visiting the coast increases, so does the list of threats to seabirds. This Community Program will introduce the many seabird species that are dependent on central California’s coastal habitats, discuss the threats they face, and highlight some of the conservation victories giving these birds hope. It will also demonstrate some of the ways that seabirds can be used as indicators of change in our oceans and thereby guide the management of our ocean resources. 

Dan Robinette is the Coastal Program Leader for Point Blue Conservation Science. He earned his B.S. in Marine Biology and M.S. in Biology from California State University, Long Beach. He has studied marine bird response to environmental change for over 20 years. He currently leads research and monitoring programs along the California coast with much of his work focused on developing marine birds as indicators of ecosystem processes and condition. His research projects include investigating the diet and foraging habits of coastally breeding seabirds, marine bird use of coastal and nearshore habitats inside and outside of marine protected areas (MPAs), the impacts of human disturbance on coastal habitat use by marine birds, and the impacts of dune restoration on shorebird populations.