The Migratory Bird Program anticipates an unprecedented increase in the number of permit requests for direct take of migratory birds.
Presently, we do not have the capability to assess the impacts of direct take on relevant populations and subpopulations, nor do we have an efficient means to
assess current population status both regionally and locally.
In order for the Service to address permit requests in a timely manner, we must be able to assess information on the status and relative vulnerability of nongame bird species populations to varying levels of take.
As populations of a growing number of North American bird species continue to decline, an assessment of the contribution of Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) permit mortality to these declines is clearly desirable.
Moreover, the USFWS is presently considering regulations allowing for incidental take of birds protected under the MBTA which may greatly increase permitted take.
Unfortunately, the Migratory Bird Program simply does not have the ability to efficiently determine the level of acceptable take for most bird population identified under the MBTA.
To remedy this problem, we propose selecting a sample of priority bird species of conservation interest to Region 6, and then constructing individual species accounts that would provide quick access to current population status, data limitations and gaps, and if reasonable, project potential impacts of increased direct take on relevant populations regionally and locally.
During the species selection process, we will consider if ¿representative¿ or ¿umbrella¿ and ¿surrogate¿ species are valid for these accounts.
If these accounts prove useful, we could extend this effort to more priority bird species in Region 6 as resources allow.
This project would also evaluate whether these assessments could serve as a resource guide for delivering strategic conservation activities for bird populations.
The proposed project would complement and somewhat mirror a current Canadian Wildlife Service effort to provide a systematic evaluation of take.
This effort would serve as a pilot, designed to estimate the required amount of staff time, the quantity and quality of existing data, as well as resource availability to complete an assessment for the complete set of priority species presently identified to be of conservation interest to Region 6. The priorities for proposals include strategic engagement on the effects of significant stressors, such as energy development, food resources, water use, and climate change; in addition habitat fragmentation, conversion and destruction can also be sources of declines.
In order to evaluate the effects of these, we need to know the basic status of the species likely to be effected in Region 6. In addition, this project will also partially address priorities for work on grasslands by doing a more detailed assessment of the needs of at least one Region 6 endemic grassland bird species.
(1) Select a sample of priority bird species of conservation interest to Region 6, and then construct individual species accounts.
(2) Identify data gaps and limitations, threats, and conservation issues for the selected species.
(3) Evaluate the relative importance of the threats to each species.
(4) Trends, at various geographic and time periods.
The first task would be to obtain a sample of bird species across an array of sensitive habitat types relevant to Region 6. Species for this pilot would be selected to represent different taxonomic groups (e.g., Charadriiformes, Passeriformes), priority habitats (e.g., riparian, grassland), life histories (e.g., migratory status), and conservation issues (e.g., raptors and wind), and species on the Service's Birds of Conservation Concern.
In particular this project will also partially address the director¿s priority for work on grasslands by doing a more detailed assessment of the needs of at least one Region 6 endemic grassland bird species (e.g., Baird¿s Sparrow; Ammodramus bairdii).
Once a sample of species is selected, we would consider each species independently and (1) summarize current population status (i.e., size distribution and demographic status, trends), identify data gaps and limitations, (2) provide an evaluation of the impacts of direct take on population status both locally (where relevant) and range-wide with Region 6, and (3) if reasonably possible, provide estimates of acceptable levels of direct take (with an associate level of confidence), considering timing, magnitude, frequency and duration of take.
Criteria would have to be developed to adequately define ¿acceptable¿.
Parameters.¿Parameters to be considered in the evaluation of impacts and threats include:
(1) Trends, BBS and other.
Evaluate the trends and the geographic areas of the trends for each species.
(2) Historical and current ranges; status throughout the geographic range.
(3) Data gaps and limitations, trends, and natural history data missing or needed to evaluate threats.
(4) Threats All questions are to be submitted in writing to the firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Opportunity Number must be in the subject line.
1-5 page project proposal addressing above description.