The Sea Duck Joint Venture (SDJV) is a conservation partnership under the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP). Its mission is to promote the conservation of North American sea ducks by providing greater scientific knowledge and understanding of sea duck biology and ecology to support more effective management. The joint venture is composed of federal and state/provincial wildlife agencies in Canada and the U.S., as well as non-governmental organizations and other entities committed to sea duck conservation. Joint venture projects are accomplished through efficient public/private partnerships and cooperative funding. The SDJV is coordinated and administered by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and Canadian Wildlife Service. Primary funding is provided to the SDJV through U.S. Congressional appropriations; some of this funding is made available through competitive grants to solicit partnerships that can address priority science needs of the SDJV. This funding opportunity is made under the authority of Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956; 16 U.S.C. 742. SDJV funding supports both the USFWS and Department of Interior (DOI) missions, and the DOI Secretary’s priorities related to conservation stewardship, natural resource use, and striking a regulatory balance. One of the purposes of the SDJV is to prevent further listings of sea duck species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA), as two sea duck populations are already listed as threatened in the U.S., and the Species at Risk Act (SARA) in Canada. Funded projects contribute sound science about sea duck populations and habitat needs by helping to monitor their status and address factors that diminish their abundance. Healthy sea duck populations support waterfowl hunting opportunities for hunters in the U.S. and Canada, particularly in coastal areas of the Atlantic, Great Lakes and Pacific regions. Traditional harvests of sea ducks are important for recreational hunters across North America and more so for subsistence hunters in rural northern communities. The SDJV has evolved from a broad-based science program aimed at basic understanding of this least-known group of waterfowl species, to strategies and objectives focused on several programmatic elements most needed by managers to make informed decisions about sea duck conservation. The SDJV science program is focused on: (1) Delineation of sea duck populations throughout their annual cycle as a basis for management programs; (2) Development of methods to reliably assess and monitor the status and trends of sea duck populations; (3) Determining essential population dynamics parameters of sea duck species to support development of models for management applications; (4) Improvement of harvest assessments and development of management guidelines for sustainability; and (5) identification of important habitats and key sites for conservation. The joint venture’s strategies and priorities are outlined in a strategic plan, implementation plans and other reports and products at http://seaduckjv.org/. The SDJV has invested considerable time and resources toward delineating biogeographic populations that are needed to frame management units for multiple sea duck species. Defining and delineating sea duck populations is a difficult and slow process to be refined through analyses of documented geographic range maps, banding and marking re-encounters, telemetry data and genetic characterizations. While this work goes on, this Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) emphasizes other critical management issues aimed at acquiring parameters, at a broad scale, for basic population modeling that can be used to assess management options, in particular harvest regulation strategies. The four key pieces of information needed for population modeling and associated harvest management are: (1) population size and trend, (2) recruitment rates, (3) survival rates, and (4) estimates of harvest and other sources of mortality. With this NOFO, there is greater interest on studies that apply at larger scales than on site-specific studies at non-randomly selected locations.
Categories: Natural Resources.
Categories: Natural Resources.