The Trinidad Complex IBA occupies 4,758 hectares of land comprised of: bare rock/sand/clay. The IBA is located in the Oregon, Washington, Vancouver Coast and Shelf ecoregion. It is owned and managed as: state, and has the following primary uses: non-recreational fishing and military-other.

The Trinidad Complex IBA contains 11 seabird species and an estimated 76,088 birds. The colony is an IBA for the following species: Rhinoceros Auklet (17), Tufted Puffin (29), Brandt's cormorant (1,094), Leach's storm-petrel (8,188), Double-Crested Cormorant (542), Fork-Tailed Storm-Petrel (250), Common Murre (65,477), Western Gull (244), Cassin's auklet (84), Pelagic Cormorant (76), and Pigeon Guillemot (87). The following species are on the Audubon WatchList: Leach's Stormpetrel.
This IBA refers to several large offshore rocks between Elk Head and Little River State Beach, centered on the town of Trinidad. These include (north to south) White Rock, Green Rock, Flatiron Rock, the Trinidad Bay Rocks and Little River Rock (see Carter et al. 1992). Trinidad Rocks refers to a series of rocks located just off the coast of Trinidad, California between Elk Head and Little River State Beach. The rocks consist of White Rock, Green Rock, Flatiron Rock, Trinidad Bay Rocks, and Little River Rock going from north to south (Cooper 2004). The rocks are all within 2 miles of the mainland coast, with Green Rock located the furthest, 2 miles away, and Little River Rock the closest at only 0.84 miles from shore (Humboldt County 2008).

Ornithological Summary

The Trinidad Complex IBA contains 11 seabird species and an estimated 76,088 birds. The colony is an IBA for the following species: Rhinoceros Auklet (17), Tufted Puffin (29), Brandt's cormorant (1,094), Leach's storm-petrel (8,188), Double-Crested Cormorant (542), Fork-Tailed Storm-Petrel (250), Common Murre (65,477), Western Gull (244), Cassin's auklet (84), Pelagic Cormorant (76), and Pigeon Guillemot (87). The following species are on the Audubon WatchList: Leach's Stormpetrel. These rocks support one of the most diverse seabird nesting colonies in California, including one of the few California colonies of Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel (200 birds on Little River Rock) and small numbers of Tufted Puffin (Green Rock, Puffin Rock), as well nearly 10,000 Leach's Storm-Petrel (2/3 of California's population) and over 30,000 Common Murre (Carter et al. 1992). Just ashore of these rocks, Little River State Beach has recently supported small numbers of breeding Snowy Plover (JS). Trinidad Rocks support on of the most diverse seabird colonies in California with 12 species and over 100,000 breeding individuals (Cooper 2004; Briggs 1987). Although most of the birds are Common Murres, about 30,000 breed here, Fork-tailed Storm-Petrels, Cassin?s Auklets, and Tufted Puffins also nest here. The rocks serve as one of the only coastal water locations where Fork-tailed Storm-Petrels nest regularly and the populations account for more than ten percent of California?s population (Briggs 1987, Cooper 2004). Trinidad Rock is also home to Tufted Puffins, which accounts for over ten percent of the California population and 10,000 Leach?s storm-petrels accounting for 2/3 of the California population (Cooper 2004). The two most important rocks for seabirds are Green Rock and Flatiron Rock that host 7 species of birds and 66,000 breeding individuals. These two rocks alone account for 25% of the most important seabird colonies along the California coast (California MLPA 2010).

Conservation Issues

Though the rocks are secure from human disturbance, Double-crested Cormorants, greatly increasing as breeders on the northwest coast, may pose a threat to nesting seabirds. As part of the California Coastal National Monument and uninhabited by humans, Trinidad Rocks have little treat from human disturbance. Being so close to the mainland however, Trinidad Rocks are at risk for pollution, including chemical pollutants and light pollution. An increase of Double-crested Cormorants breeding populations along the coast also threatens the nesting seabird populations (Cooper 2004). Also as Tufted Puffin populations are declining it is especially important to protect their habitat (California Coastal National Monument).

Ownership

The Trinidad Complex IBA is owned and managed as: state. Trinidad Rocks are part of California Coastal National Monument, which encompasses 20,000 rocks along the California coastline (California Coastline National Monument). The Bureau of Land Management or BLM manages rocks (California MLPA 2010).

Habitat

The Trinidad Complex IBA is located in the Oregon, Washington, Vancouver Coast and Shelf ecoregion and contains the following habitat types: bare rock/sand/clay. The colony occupies a total land area of 4,758 hectares. This IBA refers to several large offshore rocks between Elk Head and Little River State Beach, centered on the town of Trinidad. These include (north to south) White Rock, Green Rock, Flatiron Rock, the Trinidad Bay Rocks and Little River Rock (see Carter et al. 1992).

Land Use

The Trinidad Complex IBA is used for: non-recreational fishing and military-other. All the Trinidad Rocks are free from human inhabitance and BLM can permanently close the rocks from public access if need be (California MLPA 2010). The waters surrounding the rocks are popular fishing areas (Humboldt County 2008).

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