Activities at the Siuslaw National Forest in western Oregon will enter their second year in 2018. Established in 1908, this is a diverse forest, with habitats ranging from coastal sand dunes to coastal forests. In 2017, interns began exploring locations for shorebird surveys and piloted this effort. In 2018, we will continue these surveys, along with other wildlife and outreach and education efforts.
The Siuslaw National Forest is seeking enthusiastic interns to engage visitors and communities throughout the spectacular Oregon Central Coast on conservation of threatened bird species. Interns will work to cultivate stewardship of coastal seabirds and shorebirds within Oregon by increasing the public’s understanding of their own role in sensitive seabird and shorebird conservation at U.S. Forest Service sites and Oregon State Parks. Interns will work closely with wildlife specialists in the field, while collaborating with a network of interpreters, resource managers, and community partners.
Coastal Bird Stewardship Project
The U.S. Forest Service in partnership with the Audubon Society of Portland, Cape Perpetua Foundation and Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) received funding from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to initiate a Coastal Bird Stewardship Outreach Project in 2018. The project is a comprehensive outreach effort to improve conservation of a suite of marine-dependent bird species of conservation concern, including the federal and state-threatened marbled murrelet, federal and state-threatened western snowy plover, state sensitive black oystercatcher, and other seabirds and shorebirds that use the Oregon coast. This project will facilitate stewardship of the coast through education and awareness of the threats that human actions can have on these species, the birds’ unique life histories and habitat needs, as well as encouraging beneficial visitor conservation actions.
Project Goals Include:
- Decrease the amount of anthropogenic food sources available to wildlife, particularly corvid species, to better protect the marbled murrelet, western snowy plover, and other species.
- Encourage behavioral changes among coastal visitors and residents to reduce litter that can harm coastal birds.
- Encourage behavioral changes among coastal visitors to reduce disturbance to shorebirds and seabirds during sensitive timeframes, focusing on “good beach dog” behavior and avoiding nesting areas.
- Increase visitor understanding of the role of Seabird Protection Areas (SPA) and the importance of beaches as foraging areas for shorebirds.
- Increase public awareness of ocean and forage fish conservation efforts, including Oregon’s system of marine reserves and Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), and how those efforts benefit species like the marbled murrelet.
Internship Duties: Interns will receive training on the resources, species, and habitats of the Siuslaw National Forest and Oregon Coast, while also receiving Certification as Interpretive Guides through the National Association of Interpreters. Duties will include:
- Researching, developing, and delivering formal presentations to a variety of audiences
- Participating in outreach at community events, schools and partners sites such as the Oregon Coast Aquarium and Portland Zoo
- Producing content for signs and displays, website information, app programs and social media
- Organizing and leading citizen science projects and communicating with partner groups
- Assisting wildlife staff in shorebird surveys and snowy plover protection efforts
- Monitoring sites, producing project reports, and tracking visitor statistics