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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes

 

Joint Venture Conservation Partners Team to Achieve North American Waterfowl Management Plan Goals
Region 3, March 1, 2013

Science Coordinators from the Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes Region Joint Venture (JV), Central Hardwoods JV, and the Gulf Coast JV participated in the winter meeting of the Mississippi Flyway Council Technical Section at Jackson Mississippi last week. JVs are conservation partnerships working to achieve goals of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP) and other continental bird conservation plans. The Mississippi Flyway includes 14 states, from Michigan to Minnesota in the north down to Louisiana and Alabama in the south and all states in between. Although overlap exists between biologists and administrators serving the Flyway and the JVs within the Flyway, the focus of the Flyway is population management whereas JV focus is bird habitat conservation. The realization that population and habitat management must work hand-in-hand has resulted in a growing desire to align goals of these two entities and increase effectiveness by working together.

 

With the 2012 NAWMP revision, state and federal agency administrators comprising the NAWMP Committee expressed a need for coherence and better integration of habitat conservation, population and harvest management, and human dimensions (waterfowl stakeholder desires). The NAWMP proposes to sustain abundant waterfowl populations in order to preserve the culture and traditions of waterfowl hunting with benefits to biodiversity, ecosystem processes, and related recreational and economic values. Thus, information sharing between waterfowl population and habitat biologists is absolutely necessary to improve collaboration and unity as we work to achieve goals of the NAWMP.

JV Staff participated in Mississippi Flyway committee meetings regarding harvest management and monitoring for several species of waterfowl and webless migratory birds, human dimensions, and environmental issues, plus provided updates regarding conservation planning and implementation of portions of the 2012 NAWMP. The meeting included a presentation by the chair of the newly formed NAWMP Interim Integration Committee. Staff from the Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes Region JV described how their JV Science Team developed waterfowl population and habitat objectives, and identified a need to include stakeholder desires as well as “ecological goods and services” when targeting conservation for waterfowl. This effort of integrating waterfowl populations, habitat, and people into conservation decision-making is also building momentum at the national scale, with Upper Miss JV scientists key partners in this effort.

Contact Info: Larry Dean, 612-713-5312, Larry_Dean@fws.gov