WEST has extensive experience working with avian species throughout North and South America, including species protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, Endangered Species Act, and state-listed and sensitive species. WEST personnel have extensive working knowledge of and familiarity in the field with multiple species of avifauna as well as with the field and analytical techniques necessary to design and implement studies that produce defensible data. WEST personnel have received US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) training in Section 7 Consultation, Habitat Conservation Planning, and survey protocols for a variety of listed species.
WEST has experience and expertise in assisting clients in navigating regulatory processes, including federal and state Endangered Species Act consultations and permitting. Our extensive background and strong working relationships with USFWS provide WEST with the necessary foundation to develop and promote appropriate study designs and analyses.
Breeding Abundance and Distribution of Long-Billed Curlews (Numenius Americanus) in North America
S. L. Jones, C. S. Nations, S. D. Fellows and Lyman L, McDonald
WEST has collaborated with the Intermountain Bird Observatory of Boise State University for three years on an ongoing research study in Mozambique, Africa. The study entailed tracking both African white-backed and white-headed vultures using satellite telemetry at Gorongosa National (Park). WEST provided the satellite tracking units, and WEST’s research biologist, Eric Hallingstad, helped attach the transmitters and has played a critical role in the continuation of the study.
The study is part of a continent-wide effort to better understand vulture movements and identify threats to their population to further their conservation. This continuing study’s observations have confirmed that many of the Park’s vultures venture far outside the park. The vultures travel as many as 100 miles a day and some have been observed as far afield as South Africa. The birds eventually make their way back to the Park.
WEST will continue to provide advisory support throughout the duration of the research study and plans on publishing the results to further the conservation of these important species of vultures.
WEST supported the development of a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) that resulted in a successful Incidental Take Permit application for the Skookumchuck Wind Energy Facility in Lewis and Thurston Counties, Washington. The HCP covers potential impacts to marbled murrelets, bald eagles, and golden eagles over a permit term of 30 years and is the first wind energy HCP to include marbled murrelets as a covered species. WEST was the lead technical contractor for the HCP, developing the impact assessments and conservation plans for the covered species. This included providing technical expertise in the development of take estimates, risk analysis, and mitigation as it pertained to marbled murrelets and bald and golden eagles.
WEST also developed a pilot study to test the effectiveness of IdentiFlight as a technological solution to minimize the impact of take on the covered species, as well as the adaptive management framework for incorporating the results of the study into the management of the HCP. This project involved recent, extensive coordination with both the USFWS Washington Field Office and USFWS Region 1 staff.