Marine Matters
Status and Conservation Efforts of Ashy Storm on the Farallon Islands

Kyra L. Mills
Point Reyes Bird Observatory, Stinson Beach, CA 94970;

The Ashy Storm-Petrel (Oceanodroma homochroa) is one of the least known seabird
species because of its crevice-nesting and nocturnal habits. The Farallon National
Wildlife Refuge supports the largest population of Ashy Storm-Petrels. Results from a
capture-recapture study indicate that the population of Ashy storm-petrels on the
Farallon Islands has declined almost 40% in 20 years and predicts that the population
will continue to decline at a rate of almost 3% per year. Reasons for this decline
include predation by gulls, mice, and owls. Current conservation efforts include
studies to better document predation on Ashys, efforts to exclude gulls from Ashy
nesting habitat, and a combination of artificial nesting boxes and playback systems to
promote the recovery of this seabird species.