Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Washington
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Washington Project

Monitoring Tufted Puffins in the United States

April 2021 - May 2023


Participating Agencies

  • Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge

The Tufted Puffin – a seabird of the North Pacific Rim – has evinced steep declines off the west coast of the continental United States in recent years, but it is less clear that the species is declining in the northern portion of its range. Therefore, while the species’ range appears to be contracting, the overall trends in abundance are less clear. Lack of a coordinated monitoring plan across the range reduces the ability to make robust inference about trends and to investigate dynamics that may be driving changes in abundance and distribution. We are partnering with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the University of Puget Sound to develop a monitoring program for the Tufted Puffin in five large marine ecosystems (LME; California Current, Gulf of Alaska, Aleutian Islands, East Bering Sea, North Bering - Chukchi Seas) that considers local sampling situations, and is designed to identify monitoring methods that will allow for robust inference across and within these five LMEs. The project output will be a detailed monitoring strategy for Tufted Puffin that can be implemented by partners across the range in California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and Alaska.