We radiotagged seven female and two male Marbled Murrelets (Brachyramphus marmoratus) of undetermined breeding status and followed their movements through the inner passages of northern southeast Alaska during the breeding season (May–July) in 1998. Six of the nine murrelets were detected inland in the early morning hours from 24 June to 17 July. Inland visits for each individual were consistent to a particular location, but short in duration, which precluded locating nest sites. We recorded 46 locations at sea up to 124 km (x̄ = 78 ± 27 km) from inland sites during the period 19 June to 16 July. We detected murrelets at inland sites and at sea on the same day on 20 occasions with a mean distance between these locations of 75 ± 42 km. The majority of murrelets were located at sea in western Icy Strait, a productive feeding area at the mouth of Glacier Bay, Alaska. This study provides the first direct evidence that Marbled Murrelets in southeast Alaska are consistently traveling considerable distances between potential nesting and foraging areas. These findings have important implications for murrelet conservation and management efforts in southeast Alaska.
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Vol. 102 • No. 2