ITEM:

CONSENT CALENDAR

 

2.

CONSIDER AUTHORIZATION OF FUNDS TO CONTRACT WITH VENTANA WILDERNESS SOCIETY FOR CARMEL RIVER AVIAN HABITAT MONITORING

 

Meeting Date:

April 18, 2005

Budgeted:Yes

 

From:

David Berger

Program/

 

General Manager

Line Item No.:2.1.3-B (2004-05)

 

Prepared By:††††††††††††††††††

Thomas Christensen

Cost Estimate:$1,900

 

General Counsel Approval:N/A

Committee Recommendation:The Administrative Committee considered this item on April 4, 2005 and recommended approval.

CEQA Compliance:N/A

 

SUMMARY: The Board will consider authorizing staff to retain the Ventana Wilderness Society (VWS) to continue the Districtís avian (bird) habitat monitoring program on the Carmel River during calendar year 2005. This work will continue the monitoring of bird life along the river conducted since 1992, including the collection of data on the use of the Carmel River riparian corridor during bird migration and breeding seasons.This monitoring is conducted in accordance with the Mitigation Program for the Districtís Water Allocation Program EIR.†† The proposed scope of work, costs, and schedule are as shown in Exhibit 2-A.

 

RECOMMENDATION:District staff recommends that the Board authorize the General Manager to enter into a contract with the Ventana Wilderness Society for avian habitat monitoring work along the Carmel River at a cost not to exceed $1,900, with the scope of work, costs and schedule as shown in Exhibit 2-A.The Administrative Committee considered this matter at its April 4, 2005 meeting and voted 3 to 0 to recommend approval.

 

BACKGROUND:Avian (bird) use of riparian habitat provides an excellent indicator of wildlife habitat value.In 1992, the District established permanent sampling locations for avian species monitoring at several sites along the Carmel River.The purpose of this program is to measure bird use at the monitoring sites, thus providing an indication of changing patterns of habitat values in the Districtís restoration project areas.Information on bird populations and avian species diversity collected as part of the Districtís Mitigation Program has assisted in documenting trends in the response of wildlife populations to habitat enhancements implemented by the District.Locations of the monitoring sites are shown in Exhibit 2-B. An example of the data collected from 1992 through 2004 at the Schulte Restoration Project is shown in Exhibit 2-C.The two major dips in bird counts that can be seen in the graphs are likely the result of the reduction and disturbance of riparian habitat caused by the high river flows and erosion in 1995 and 1998.The higher bird counts following the two dips indicate a recovery of the extent and health of the riparian habitat.The Districtís riparian vegetation planting and irrigation activities promote growth and health of riparian vegetation, and are a likely reason for the higher bird counts.


The VWS sampling will span the spring and fall migration and breeding seasons for a look at patterns of wildlife use in District planting areas.Long-term monitoring of the same sampling locations provides an indication of the overall changes in wildlife habitat values resulting from the Districtís planting, irrigation, and erosion protection efforts.

 

The proposed reduction in scope for avian monitoring in 2005 is to not conduct a protocol known as Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS).This protocol includes the mist netting of birds at four key sites along the river to track avian population size and productivity.The District has contracted with VWS for MAPS monitoring in 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2004.The impact of not performing the MAPS monitoring this year is that there will not be information on avian population size and productivity for 2005.However, the fundamental avian species monitoring that has been carried out annually from 1992 through 2004 (Spring and Fall observations of birds at 20 locations along the Carmel River and calculation of the Species Diversity Index for each location) is proposed to be continued in 2005.

 

IMPACTS ON STAFF AND RESOURCES:Estimated costs for the scope of work as shown in Exhibit 2-A total $1,900.Mileage expenses are included in this not-to-exceed amount. The scope of work has been reduced significantly from the work performed in previous years in recognition of likely budget limitations in FY 2005-2006. In FY 2004-2005, the contract not-to-exceed amount was $15,600.The savings reflect the cost of the MAPS protocol described above ($13,700 in 2004).This year, the not-to-exceed amount is proposed to be $1,900.The scope includes collection and analysis of Species Diversity Index data and preparation of the 2005 annual report.This work will be performed under the direction of the Districtís Riparian Projects Coordinator.

 

EXHIBITS

2-A††††† Proposal for Professional Avian Monitoring Services from Ventana Wilderness Society

2-B††††† Monterey Peninsula Avian Monitoring Sites

2-C††††† Schulte Restoration Project Species Diversity Index

 

 

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