The key to preventing disturbance is being aware of wildlife around you:
- Stay 1,000 feet (3 football fields) away from colonies where seabirds rest and nest.
- If you see birds acting nervous (e.g. head bobbing, fluttering or flying away) you are too close — move away.
- Visit https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Marine/MPAs/Network to find out about marine protected areas and Special Closures.
Learn more about seabirds:
Seabirds spend most of their lives at sea but they must come ashore to rest, nest and raise young—often in great colonies. Successfully completing this life cycle is critical to their long- term health and survival.
Although seabirds are highly sensitive to human disturbance during their nesting season, between January and September, it is important to keep our distance year-round.
Seabirds face numerous threats in today’s challenging environment, including:
- Destruction or damage to their habitats
- Disturbances during sensitive nesting, feeding and resting times
- Death and injury from fishing hooks, lines and nets
- Changing ocean conditions
- Dangerous contaminants in the ecosystem
- Food scarcity
Human disturbance causes a change in an animal’s normal behavior. In marine environments, such disturbances are typically caused by close approaches from the water, air or land.
Getting close to seabirds during the breeding season can:
- Scare birds off their nests
- Dislodge eggs and chicks from nest sites
- Allow predators to feed on eggs and chicks
- Lead to deaths when eggs or chicks are exposed to heat or cold
- Cause chicks to drown when forced to leave the nest too soon