Seabirds Snapshot Report

The sixth report in the South Coast Snapshot Series, Monitoring Seabirds, highlights key findings from the Seabirds Project, one of ten state-funded baseline monitoring projects in California’s South Coast.

Led by Point Blue Conservation Science, the Seabirds Project characterized populations of select seabird species at different locations from 2012-2014 to determine how seabirds use coastal habitats, both inside and outside of marine protected areas (MPAs). Researchers found that a successful colony of California Least Terns ate lots of anchovies and young rockfish, whereas less successful colonies had a more varied diet. This suggests that anchovies and young rockfish were more abundant in the waters near that colony than in other areas, which helps researchers learn more about the surrounding ocean conditions and how they impact seabirds. They also found that, overall, abundance and species diversity of foraging seabirds was similar inside and outside of MPAs.

This snapshot report, and the entire South Coast Snapshot Series, provides a foundation for rigorous science-informed decisions in the region. It is key ingredient in the State of the California South Coast Region report, which provides a comprehensive ecological and socioeconomic baseline characterization of the region.


Seabird Project Collaborators

Principal Investigators:

  • Dan Robinette, Point Blue Conservation Science



  • Julie Howar, Point Blue Conservation Science
  • Jaime Jahncke, Point Blue Conservation Science
  • Meredith Elliott, Point Blue Conservation Science

Contributing Groups