Audubon California is engaged in Black Oystercatcher monitoring activities in California's rocky intertidal ecosystem....read more
Audubon California is engaged in Black Oystercatcher monitoring activities in California's rocky intertidal ecosystem. Volunteers are tracking productivity metrics within select marine reserves along the California coast.
The Monitoring Enterprise describes rocky intertidal habitat as the ecosystem feature “expected to be among the most challenging within which to detect and interpret changes that may occur following MPA designation” due to the highly dynamic nature of this habitat subject to frequent natural physical disturbance. Black oystercatcher, a globally rare intertidal obligate shorebird, has been identified by the Monitoring Enterprise as a “Vital Sign” for understanding potential change against baseline conditions in MPAs. Among experts, black oystercatcher is considered a sensitive indicator of healthy and diverse intertidal habitats, as well as highly vulnerable to the impacts of human disturbance and climate change. This handsome, charismatic shorebird also inspires the public and serves an ambassador for awareness and conservation of California’s iconic rocky intertidal landscape.
Audubon is building an increased understand of this Vital Sign species at select North Coast marine reserves, and is undertaking long-term monitoring efforts at select Central Coast marine reserves. Audubon's activities will create a rigorous, meaningful approach to understanding the status of Black Oystercatcher and changes to that status – whether positive, negative, or neutral – following the implementation of MPAs.Read less