Scripps's Murrelet
(Synthliboramphus scrippsi)


Picture of bird
© Tom Benson - License
For additional photos and vocalizations, visit Dendroica. (Link opens in a new window.)

Until 2012, Scripps’s Murrelet and Guadalupe Murrelet were jointly known as Xantus’s Murrelet. Scripp’s Murrelet breeds primarily on the Channel Islands off the coast of southern California, and in the post-breeding season, small numbers range as far north as Moresby Island, Haida Gwaii (Carter et al. 2005, Kenyon et al. 2009). As of 2014, there are only 34 documented records of Scripps’s Murrelet in Canadian waters, mostly between July and October (Kenyon et al. 2009, Toochin et al. 2014). However, this likely underestimates the occurrence of the species, as there are few pelagic surveys in British Columbia, especially during the peak season of occurrence (Toochin 2015). Information is currently insufficient to determine the status of the population relative to the 1970s. This species has been identified as a priority for conservation and/or stewardship in one or more Bird Conservation Region Strategies in Canada.


Main designations for the species
DesignationStatusDateSubspecies, population
IUCN (Global)Vulnerable2018 
Partners in Flight (North America)Watch list - red2017 
Wild Species (Canada)Not applicable2015 
State of North America’s BirdsWatch list2016 
Bird Conservation Region StrategyPriority Species2013 

Population status

Geographic area or populationPopulation change relative to ~1970ReliabilityStatus in relation to goal
CanadaData DeficientData DeficientData Deficient

Population estimate

Geographic area or populationPopulation estimate
CanadaNot yet available

Distribution maps


Migration strategy, occurrence

Seasonal visitor

Responsibility for conservation

Geographic areaResponsibility based on % of global population
CanadaTo be determined

Conservation and management

Introduced mice, rats, and cats have been recognized as serious threats to breeding colonies, but have been largely removed from islands known or suspected to support Scripps’s Murrelet (Keitt 2005, Aguirre-Muñoz et al. 2008; Whitworth et al. 2013). Fishing can be a threat through bycatch in gill-nets, as well as noise and light pollution (Drost and Lewis 1995). Standardized monitoring is required to determine the species' population status and assess the need for further management actions.


Bird conservation region strategies

Environment and Climate Change Canada and partners have developed Bird Conservation Region Strategies in each of Canada’s Bird Conservation Regions (BCRs). In these strategies, selected species are identified as priorities for one or more of the following reasons:

  • conservation concerns (i.e., species vulnerable due to population size, distribution, population trend, abundance, or threats)
  • stewardship responsibilities (i.e., species that typify the regional avifauna or have a large proportion of their range or population in the sub-region)
  • management concerns (i.e., species that require ongoing management because of their socio-economic importance as game species, or because of their impacts on other species or habitats)
  • other concerns (i.e., species deemed a priority by regional experts for other reasons than those listed above or because they are listed as species at risk or concern at the provincial level)

Select any of the sub-regions below to view the BCR strategy for additional details.

BCRs, marine biogeographic units, and sub-regions in which the species is listed as a priority
RegionSub-region and priority type
Northern Pacific RainforestNorthern Pacific Rainforest, sub-region and priority type: Pacific and Yukon -- Stewardship