Franklin's Gulls depend upon extensive marshes for breeding, where they nest over water on floating vegetation and in colonies. Breeding sites are characterized by both emergent vegetation for nest attachment and deep-water habitat that provides foraging opportunities and prevents access to nests by predators.
This species occurs in small, disjunct breeding colonies in Oregon. The specialized nesting requirements of Franklin's Gulls make them vulnerable to fluctuating water levels. They are also sensitive to human disturbance at nesting sites.
Improve understanding of foraging ecology and factors influencing dependence on marsh versus upland foraging areas (e.g., marsh size, characteristics). Describe breeding and post-breeding habitat needs in a landscape context; use this information to direct water-level management across a matrix of sites.
Minimize human disturbance in nesting areas during the breeding season and in shallow-water feeding areas. Where appropriate, manage water levels to provide suitable foraging and nesting habitat.