Skip booklet index and go to page content

COSEWIC Assessment and Update Status Report on the Ancient Murrelet in Canada

Existing Protection or Other Status

The adult, nests and eggs of Ancient Murrelets, are protected by the Migratory Birds Convention Act (1994). However, members of the Haida can still legally hunt murrelets, as the bird was a traditional food source. Under the Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act (2002), the Ancient Murrelet is protected in its “sea space” and has listed status. It is also protected from killing and wounding, taking and transporting under the BC Wildlife Act.

Eleven breeding colonies are currently protected as Wildlife Habitat Areas under the Forest and Range Practices Act of BC. Also, the Haida Nation is working with Parks Canada on management issues in the Queen Charlotte Islands, including those involving the Ancient Murrelet (G. Goulet, 2003, pers. comm.; Captain Gold, Archipelago Management Board, 2003, pers. comm.).

Globally, the Ancient Murrelet has a Global Heritage Status rank of G4, or ‘globally secure’. It is not listed under CITES, nor is it listed in the IUCN Red book. In the United States, the Ancient Murrelet has a National Heritage Status rank of N4B, N4N (apparently secure). It is ranked in Alaska as S4 (apparently secure and in Washington as S3S.

In Canada, it has a National Heritage Status Rank of N3 or vulnerable. It has a Heritage Status Rank in BC of S2S3B, S4N and is also Blue-listed (of special concern) by the BC Provincial government.