Northern Goshawk & Marbled Murrelet

A subspecies of Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis laingi) that lives in coastal British Columbia is listed as threatened under the federal Species at Risk Act and is on British Columbia’s Red List (species at risk of being lost). Species designation informs provincial management efforts for species at risk, including such measures as the establishment of Wildlife Habitat Areas for key breeding areas and these dictate how forest tenure holders conduct their operations on those lands.

The geographic range of this subspecies is uncertain and the degree of overlap with the more common interior subspecies (Accipiter gentilis atricapillus) is unclear. A better understanding of the distribution of the laingi subspecies is important to support effective conservation of this subspecies and to inform land management decisions.

Rare footage: Northern Goshawk chick in a nest (Haida Gwaii)

The Marbled Murrelet is a small, north Pacific seabird that depends on large mossy platforms in old-growth forests for nesting habitat. Rather than build a nest, they make their nests on large, mossy branches, with just the slightest indent in the moss to lay their egg. Adults can travel up to 60 km inland to bring ocean fish to their chick on a daily basis. This makes Marbled Murrelets unique, as all other members of the Auk family nest in underground burrows along the shoreline.

Marbled Murrelet, photo by Jared Hobbs

The Canadian population, confined entirely to British Columbia, was assigned threatened status by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada in 1990. The Marbled Murrelet is on British Columbia’s Blue List (species of concern) of species being considered for legal designation as endangered or threatened.