Oregon increases protections for rare seabird

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon environmental officials have increased protections for a rare diving seabird that nests far inland in old-growth forests.

The Oregon Commission on Fish and Wildlife voted 4-2 on Friday to change the listing of the marbled murrelet to “endangered” from “threatened” after first being deadlocked on the issue.

The species is listed as threatened under federal law and is endangered in Washington state and California.

A coalition of environmental groups petitioned the commission to increase the bird’s protected status in Oregon because of logging on state and private land that is threatening nesting sites in old-growth forests.

The unusual seabird forages in the ocean but flies up to 55 miles inland to lay a single egg on tiny mossy depressions in trees that are at least 80 years old.