Ancient Murrelet season ends on a positive note...j ust in time for the crew to head out on the first round of Black Oystercatch er surveys in Gwaii Haanas.

The last pair of murrelet chicks came down the funnels on the night of June 2. Over the course of the season, a total of 164 chicks were caught at North Cove (funnels 1-4), and 121 at Cabin Cove (funnels 5-8), for an overall total of 285. There have been no chick captures in North Cove for the past 3 years, yet chick numbers have continued to decline in this part of the colony. On a brighter note, there was a rebound in chick numbers at Cabin Cove this season: The total for funnels 5&6 was 86, an increase from the 66 captured in 2009 when a raccoon was active on the island through the breeding season. Preliminary analysis of this year's data is encouraging in that it appears that our research activities are not implicated in the declining numbers in the colony, however predation in the colony by introduced raccoons remains a major threat. A cull of raccoons on the adjacent shoreline of Louise Island in March apparently kept raccoons off of Limestone Island this season, and continuing this program on a yearly basis will be essential in reversing the decline of this colony.