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    Avian Surveys within the Santa Clara River Watershed, 2005-2006

                

    Bio Logic Consulting is conducting two years of avian surveys within specific sections of the Santa Clara River Watershed that are currently being restored, or are considered high priority for preservation and restoration, as described in the Santa Clara River Enhancement and Management Plan (SCREMP), the Final Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment for the Santa Clara River ARCO Oil Spill, and The Nature Conservancy Conservation Plans for the Santa Clara River. All of these plans consider natural resource monitoring and assessment to be a critical component in effective restoration planning.

    The study is designed to determine the abundance and distribution of: 1) the general avian community, 2) Threatened and Endangered avian species, and 3) the brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater). Methodology and knowledge of the watershed are based mainly on previous oil spill damage assessment research conducted from 1994 to 2001 (Labinger and Greaves 2001).  The damage assessment report summarizes historical information through 2001, and examined the USGS and CNDDB for distributional information related to listed bird species for the study area. This initial research found data to be lacking for most sections of the river, particularly within the upper watershed.

    The study is designed to avoid overlap with concurrent avian surveys along the river, including projects related to avian surveys (Highway 101, Pole Creek, Fillmore, and Newhall Ranch) and to assist restoration planning (Hedrick/Valley View Ranch, and Habitat Protection Plan for the Upper Santa Clara River Watershed, The Nature Conservancy).

    Objectives

    The main objective of the proposed study is to obtain data on avian populations as an evaluation and monitoring tool for restoration activities. These data will provide critical information related to:

    • Population size and distribution of T & E bird species (e.g. least Bell’s vireo Vireo bellii pusillus and southwestern willow flycatcher Empidonax traillii extimus)
    • Relative comparisons of the avian community between specific sites
    • Brown-headed cowbird abundance and distribution in relation to specific sites, T&E species and cowbird trap locations
    • Impacts to bird populations as a result of the recent (2003) burned areas of the river
    • Presence of other rare or sensitive wildlife species

    Project Type: Baseline
    Conducted By: Bio Logic Consulting
    Status: Active (anticipated completion December 2006)


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