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U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Coastal Program 2014 Annual Accomplishment Report


Message from the Refuge Chief The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has the responsibility to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The environmental legacy that we pass on to future generations largely depends on our ability to protect and restore habitat on which plants and animals depend for their survival. Coastal habitats support 40% of the Service’s National Wildlife Refuges and are vital to fish and wildlife because 40% of our federally listed species, 25% of our wetlands, and over 30% of North American wintering waterfowl occur in our nation’s coastal areas. Coastal wetlands also provide important spawning grounds and nurseries for commercial and sport fish. The Coastal Program is the Service’s primary conservation tool for voluntary, citizen and community-based fish and wildlife habitat conservation on both public and privately-owned coastal lands. Coastal counties make up only 10% of the lower 48 states but are home to more than half of the population and are among the most rapidly developing areas. These stressors present a significant challenge to habitat conservation and require innovative approaches to conservation such as those provided by the Coastal Program. Coastal Program staff provide technical and financial assistance to land managers and a diversity of conservation partners for the restoration and protection of coastal habitats throughout the nation and U.S. territories. With staff located in 24 priority areas along the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf coasts, and in the Great Lakes and the Caribbean, the Coastal Program provides valuable technical expertise and delivers vital habitat restoration projects to help the Service achieve its conservation mission. This annual report showcases examples of the Service's accomplishments working with our conservation partners, including other federal, tribal, state and local agencies, nonprofit organizations, universities, corporations and private landowners. Through the Coastal Program, the Service has restored approximately 517,670 acres of wetland and upland habitat, more than 2,220 miles of stream habitat, and helped permanently protect over 2,079,655 acres. We will continue to build a strong legacy of wildlife stewardship through strategic habitat conservation and effective partnerships. Jim Kurth Chief National Wildlife Refuge System

Background photograph: Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge: John Martin (USFWS)


Our approach is straightforward: engage willing partners and landowners, and provide technical and financial assistance to conserve fish and wildlife resources in priority coastal landscapes. Where We Work...The Work... Service maintains Coastal Program offices in 24 priority coastal areas.

What We Did… In 2014, working with nearly 600 partners, the Coastal Program protected or improved more than   

22,070 acres of wetlands, 12,640 acres of upland and 45 miles of stream habitat, with

280 projects benefiting threatened and endangered species.

In 2014, the Service leveraged $22 for every Coastal Program project dollar.


Region 1: Pacific Northwest and Pacific Islands 2014 Project Locations Points may represent multiple accomplishments

Washington

2014 REGIONAL SUMMARY Accomplishments (Restored/ Protected):     

Oregon

29 Projects 265 Upland acres 186 Wetland acres 3 Stream miles 7 Fish barriers removed

Project Contributions:  Coastal Program: $222,155  Project Partners: $2,645,850

Hawaii

Background photograph: Spit Island: David Patte (USFWS) Inset photographs (clockwise from left to right): Sustainability in Prisons Project: Benjamin Drummond; Golden paintbrush: Chris Swenson (USFWS)


Prairie Golden Paintbrush Restoration Island County, Washington This habitat restoration project used seeds propagated by the South Puget Sound Conservation Nursery Program, which employs military veterans and provides vocational training for prison inmates through the Sustainability in Prisons Project.

The Coastal Program and the Service’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program are collaborating to restore coastal prairie habitat that benefits the threatened Golden paintbrush, adjacent to Puget Sound, in Washington. Because this habitat type is rare, conservation efforts aim to conserve large areas necessary to maintain this unique coastal ecosystem. This project complements a larger prairie conservation effort funded by the Service’s Cooperative Recovery Initiative.

PROJECT-AT-A-GLANCE Funding Contribution: Coastal Program: $17,770 Partner contribution: $8,873 Total project cost: $26,643

This project provided prairie habitat for Golden paintbrush recovery by converting abandoned agricultural fields back to prairie habitat. Coastal Program staff conducted project planning, prepared restoration designs and oversaw the project implementation. While project monitoring by the Coastal Program has determined the Golden paintbrush population is expanding on the site, continued control of invasive will be necessary to maintain this success.

Partners:  Pacific Rim Institute  Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program  University of Washington Landscape Conservation Cooperative:  North Pacific Service Cross-Program Collaboration:  Endangered Species Program  National Wildlife Refuge System  Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program

Sustainability in Prisons Project provides a constructive and collaborative program that enables incarcerated men and women to make a lasting contribution to habitat conservation.


Region 2: The Southwest 2014 Project Locations

2014 REGIONAL SUMMARY

Points may represent more than one accomplishment.

Accomplishments (Restored/Protected):  15 Projects  5,299 Upland acres  2,155 Wetland acres

Texas

Project Contributions:  Coastal Program: $286,890  Project Partners: $3,187,105

Background photograph: Grand Bay National Wildlife Refuge: Tom Carlisle Inset photographs (left to right): Before and after brush control: Beau Hardegree (USFWS); Aplomado falcons: Steve Sinclair


Aplomado Falcon Recovery Cameron County, Texas Coastal Program staff are working with land managers to improve habitat for the Northern aplomado falcon, the last falcon species currently on the endangered species list in the United States. The falcon was federally listed as endangered in 1986, due to population declines attributed primarily to habitat loss. In 1986, the Peregrine Fund began releasing falcons at Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge), in Texas. In 1995 their efforts resulted in the first observations of wild breeding falcons in the U. S. since 1952. Falcons were also released in New Mexico; however, they were unsuccessful. Currently there are 29 breeding pairs in Texas, and 60 breeding pairs are required for downlisting of the falcon. Recent monitoring on the Refuge by the Peregrine Fund found brush habitat expanding into established nesting territories. This habitat conversion can impact the falcon’s recovery because they prefer open grasslands and brush habitat also provides cover for Great Horned Owls and other predators, which are known to kill falcons. In partnership with the Refuge and Friends of Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge, Coastal Program staff designed and implemented a 1,000-acre restoration of grassland habitat. The site has one known nesting pair of falcons and the brush work was necessary to prevent the loss of this habitat.

Aplomado falcons will work in a group to hunt their prey.

The goal of this project is to restore a minimum of 1,000 acres of habitat for Aplomado falcons. This project is located in the Laguna Madre focus area of the Coastal Program’s Strategic Plan. The goals for the focus area are to restore/enhance 1,500 acres of uplands and to increase the number nesting falcons by two pairs. This project increases recreational birding and tourism, which benefits the local economy.

PROJECT-AT-A-GLANCE Funding Contribution: Coastal Program: $50,000 Total project cost: $ 50,000 Partners:  The Friends of Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge  Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge  The Peregrine Fund Landscape Conservation Cooperative:  Gulf Coast Prairie Service Cross-Program Collaboration:  Endangered Species Program  National Wildlife Refuge System

CONSERVATION COLLABORATION The Coastal Program, Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program and the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge) staff are working together to improve Aplomado falcon habitat on and adjacent to the Refuge. The Friends of Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge are providing project oversight and contract administration. The Peregrine Fund is conducting annual monitoring of falcon nesting on the project sites. Refuge staff are also conducting habitat maintenance.


Region 3: The Midwest 2014 Project Locations Points may represent multiple accomplishments

2014 REGIONAL SUMMARY Accomplishments (Restored/Protected):  5 Projects  369 Upland acres  28 Wetland acres

Michigan

Project Contributions:  Coastal Program: $389,400  Project Partners: $2,369,575

Wisconsin

Michigan

Indiana

Background photograph: Seney National Wildlife Refuge: Jennifer McDonough (USFWS) Inset photographs (from top to bottom): Bete Grise Preserve: Nathan Miller (Keweenaw Land Trust)

Ohio


Bete Grise Preserve Community Stewardship and Habitat Restoration Newago County, Michigan Coastal Program and Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program staff administer the National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program. This competitive funding opportunity provides funding for the conservation of coastal wetland to states and territories.

Whenever possible, Coastal Program staff engage communities in our conservation efforts. In 2004, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service worked with partners to protect the Bete Grise Preserve (Preserve) with funding from the National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program. The 1,500-acre Preserve consists of conifer forests, forested, scrub-shrub and emergent wetlands, and lakeshore dunes adjacent to Lake Superior. The Preserve is open to the public for recreation and hunting, which provides social and economic benefits to the local economy. In 2014, Coastal Program staff played an instrumental role in a 10-acre upland habitat restoration, 800-acre botanical assessment and nature trail installation. The goal of the trail is to inform visitors about the importance of coastal ecosystems and foster a connection to the Preserve. The Preserve’s wetlands and uplands provide prime nesting and foraging habitat for numerous wetland and migratory bird species including the American bittern, Sandhill crane, Connecticut warbler, Common loon and Bald eagle. Coaster brook trout, an anadramous form of brook trout, are known to utilize these shallow coastal waters. Four state-listed rare plants are also found in this area.

PROJECT-AT-A-GLANCE Funding Contribution: Coastal Program: $24,990 Partner contribution: $6,500 Total project cost: $31,490 Partners:  Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District  Keweenaw Land Trust  Michigan Department of Environmental Quality  The Nature Conservancy Landscape Conservation Cooperative:  Upper Midwest and Great Lakes Service Cross-Program Collaboration:  Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program


Region 4: The Southeast 2014 Project Locations

North Carolina

Points may represent more than one accomplishment

South Carolina 2014 REGIONAL SUMMARY

Alabama

Accomplishments (Restored/Protected):  78 Projects  2,582 Upland acres  835 Wetland acres  5 Stream miles

Georgia

Project Contributions:  Coastal Program: $969,435  Project Partners: $4,941,835

Florida

Puerto Rico


Red-cockaded Woodpecker Habitat Improvement Colleton County, South Carolina The Red-cockaded woodpecker (RCW), one of the few bird species endemic to the United States. nests in mature, living pine trees, often infected with red heart fungus. The fungus softens the wood, which allows the RCW to excavate a nesting cavity in the tree. RCWs have a preference for Longleaf pine and the destruction of this pine habitat has contributed to the listing of the RCW as a federally endangered species.

PROJECT-AT-A-GLANCE Funding Contribution: Coastal Program: $22,100 Total project cost: $22,100 Partners:  South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Landscape Conservation Cooperative:  South Atlantic Service Cross-Program Collaboration:  Endangered Species Program  National Wildlife Refuge System  Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program

Coastal Program staff, partnering with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, are working to improve habitat for the RCW, in the Coastal Plains of South Carolina, on the Donnelly Wildlife Management Area (DWMA). The presence of mature Longleaf pine habitat made the DWMA ideal for RCW reintroduction. This project is part of a larger conservation effort to reintroduce the RCW into the ACE (i.e., Ashepoo, Combahee and South Edisto) Basin, one of the largest undeveloped estuaries along the Atlantic Coast. The Service has been conserving public and private lands, in the ACE Basin, for the RCW since 2012. In 2014, work on the DWMA included timber thinning, including chemical treatments and prescribed burns. Coastal Program and Endangered Species staff assessed forest conditions before, during, and after thinning and Nest Cavity provided forest management recommendations. Coastal Program funds were also used to hire a RCW expert to identify appropriate locations for artificial nest cavities. RCW prefer to nest in mature (i.e., at least 60 years old) pine trees; however, artificial nest cavities can be used to encourage nesting in younger forest stands.

Background photograph: USFWS Inset photographs (left to right): Red-cockaded woodpecker : USFWS; Nest cavity: USFWS


Region 5: The Northeast 2014 Project Locations Points may represent multiple accomplishments

Maine

New Hampshire

New York

Massachusetts Connecticut Rhode Island

Pennsylvania New Jersey

Delaware

Virginia

Maryland

2014 REGIONAL SUMMARY Accomplishments (Restored/ Protected/Removed):  48 Projects  2902 Upland acres  17,823 Wetland acres  18 Stream miles  8 Fish barriers Project Contributions:  Coastal Program: $151,950  Project Partners: $14,573,650


Delmarva Fox Squirrel Conservation Dorchester County, Maryland

“The Delmarva fox squirrel is a perfect example of how the Endangered Species Act works not only to pull plants and animals back from the brink of extinction but can also provide flexibility to states and private landowners to help with the recovery efforts while at the same time supporting important economic activity.” - Secretary Sally Jewel

The Service is proposing to remove the Delmarva fox squirrel, one of the first federally listed endangered species, from the endangered species list. Fox squirrel habitat had declined to 10 percent of its historic range due to habitat loss from timber harvests and agricultural production. Conservation efforts, such as squirrel reintroductions, and habitat conservation, have restored fox squirrels to 28 percent of their historic range – a level biologists believe can sustain the species. New fox squirrels populations have been found in Delaware indicating that the squirrels are continuing to reclaim more of their historic range. Habitat protection projects, like the conservation easements along the Chicamacomico River, played an important role in the fox squirrel recovery. This project protected over 442 acres of salt marsh, forested wetlands, forests, and farmland, located near the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. The project also included forest buffer plantings and forested wetland restoration. Coastal Program staff worked with partners to identify critical fox squirrel habitat, prepare grant applications and conservation easements, and conduct outreach to landowners. The Coastal Program is working with Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program to improve habitat conditions on the easement for the Delmarva fox squirrel and other wildlife.

Although Delmarva fox squirrel looks like your typical gray squirrel, they can be over two foot long and weigh three pounds. Background photograph: Plum Tree Island National Wildlife Refuge : USFWS Inset photographs (from left to right): Secretary Sally Jewell : Tami Heilemann ; Delmarva Fox Squirrel: Larry Meade

PROJECT-AT-A-GLANCE Funding Contribution: Coastal Wetlands Grants: $318,000 Partner: $64,000 Total Project Cost: $382,000 Partners:  Maryland Department of Natural Resources  Private landowners Landscape Conservation Cooperative:  North Atlantic Service Cross-Program Collaboration:  Endangered Species Program  Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program


Region 7: Alaska 2014 Project Locations Points may represent multiple accomplishments

Alaska

Pink salmon

2014 REGIONAL SUMMARY Accomplishments (Restored/ Protected/Removed):  30 Projects  299 Upland acres  199 Wetland acres  4 Stream miles  1 Fish barrier Project Contributions:  Coastal Program: $228,855  Project Partners: $3,159,720

Background photograph: Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge: Kristine Sowl (USFWS ) Inset photographs (clockwise from top left): Pink salmon migrating: A.Modig; Pink salmon: Kentaro Yasui; Project photographs: Neil Stichert (USFWS)


Harris River Fish Passage Restoration Prince of Wales Island, Alaska Coastal Program staff is working with The Nature Conservancy to conserve ecologically important habitats in the rainforest archipelago of Southeast Alaska. This partnership identified the Harris River watershed as a priority for habitat restoration because it is considered one of the primary producers of salmon and other sport fish on the Tongass National Forest. Since 1976, the watershed has been periodically logged and metal culvert stream crossings were left in place to allow for public use of these roads. These culverts are undersized and cause large downstream scour, which create barriers to fish passage and threaten road crossings. In 2014, the Coastal Program provided technical and financial assistance to replace one of the failing road crossings. Staff were involved in all phases of the project including site selection and assessment, topographic surveys, permitting, project management and construction oversight. This project restored natural stream function, and improved habitat connectivity along 0.75 miles of stream and 2 acres of riparian wetlands. By replacing a failed culvert with a bridge, we reduce the threat to the road by allowing a higher conveyance of stormwater flows and reducing channel velocities by providing access to the floodplain. This project benefits Pink, Chum, and Coho salmon, which are important commercial fish, and Cutthroat trout and Undersized culvert Dolly Varden char, which are important stream crossings sportfish.

PROJECT-AT-A-GLANCE Funding Contribution: Coastal Program: $40,000 Partner contribution: $48,000 Total project cost: $88,000 Partners:  Prince of Wales Resource Advisory Committee  The Nature Conservancy  U.S. Forest Service Landscape Conservation Cooperative:  North Pacific Service Cross-Program Collaboration:  Fish Passage Program  Southeast Alaska Fish Habitat Partnership


Region 8: Pacific Southwest 2014 Project Locations Points may represent multiple accomplishments.

California

Tidewater goby Background photograph: Joe Milmoe (USFWS) Inset photograph (from left to right): USFWS; McDaniel Slough: D. Kenworthy

Nevada

2014 REGIONAL SUMMARY Accomplishments (Restored/ Protected):  32 Projects  1,028 Upland acres  744 Wetland acres  15 Stream miles Project Contributions:  Coastal Program: $433,865  Project Partners: $26,954,060

Humboldt Bay is one of California’s largest estuaries being second in size only to San Francisco Bay. As an important migratory bird stopover along the Pacific Flyway, Humboldt Bay supports over 300 bird species, including 80 species of water birds and two federally-listed birds. Humboldt Bay also supports six federallylisted fish and plant species, including the Humboldt wallflower and Tidewater goby.


McDaniel Slough Estuary Marsh Restoration Humboldt County, California Less than 1,000 acres (i.e., 10 percent) of the native salt marshes remain in Humboldt Bay because of human alternations. For the past 10 years, the Service has been working in partnership with federal, state, local government, and non-profit partners to restore the McDaniel Slough, located in northern Humboldt Bay. The project goal was to restore a transitional environment of self-sustaining salt, brackish and freshwater marshes by returning natural tidal, physical and biological processes to the system. Coastal Program staff provided project planning and restoration design expertise, which included coordination with the Service’s Endangered Species and Fisheries Programs. Staff also provided construction oversight of the 212-acre restoration, which involved the removal of levees, fish passage barriers, and topography diversification. In addition to benefiting migratory birds, this project also benefits the federallylisted Coho salmon, Chinook salmon, Tidewater goby and Steelhead. Recent fish surveys have found juvenile Coho salmon in the slough and farther upstream in Janes Creek. Coastal Program staff continue to work with the partners to expand restoration efforts upstream of McDaniel Slough into Janes Creek. Ongoing conservation efforts include improving fish passage, restoring the riparian corridor, and eradicating invasive plant species, including Reed Canary grass.

PROJECT-AT-A-GLANCE Funding Contribution: Coastal Program: $1,659,000 Partner contribution: $2,541,200 Total project cost: $4,200,200 Partners:  City of Arcata  California Department of Fish and Wildlife  California Coastal Conservancy  California Conservation Corps  Pacific Coast Joint Venture  Ducks Unlimited  Natural Resources Conservation Service  National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration  Friends of the Arcata Marsh  Redwood Region Audubon Society  Humboldt Fish Action Council  Humboldt State University  Humboldt Area Foundation Landscape Conservation Cooperative:  North Pacific Service Cross-Program Collaboration:  Endangered Species Program  Fisheries and Aquatic Conservation Program  National Wildlife Refuge System


Technical Assistance The Coastal Program provides technical assistance to support landscape-scale habitat conservation ranging from habitat assessments, adaptive habitat management, conservation design and monitoring, grant administration, and national policy development. Our staff possess diverse skills and expertise to provide assistance to other Service programs, federal, state and local agencies, tribes, conservation groups, universities, corporations, and private landowners. Our technical assistance provides broader benefits to federal trust species by helping partners develop policies and conduct landscapescale conservation planning. It also enables us to enlist the support of diverse partners to achieve the Service's conservation priorities. The Coastal Program also encourages community stewardship through outreach and training. By developing conservation tools and protocols, we promote ecologically sound decision making and improve the delivery of successful habitat conservation. These efforts improve the science of restoration and reduce the overall cost of habitat conservation.

Academic Instruction Technical Training

Coastal Wetland Conservation Grant Assistance

Invasive Species Coordination

Youth Outreach

Background photograph: Ryan Hagerty (USFWS) Inset photographs (clockwise from top left): Christopher Eng (USFWS); Christopher Darnell (USFWS); Laurie Hewitt (USFWS); Steve Kendrot (APHIS); and Joe Milmoe (USFWS) Opposite inset photographs (top to bottom): Monarch butterfly: Greg Thompson (USFWS) and Great egrets: B W


MONARCH BUTTERFLY CONSERVATION INITIATIVE Due to dramatic declines in honey bees and other pollinators, President Barack Obama requested a federal Strategy to Promote the Health of Pollinators. In support of this strategy, the Service’s Director Dan Ashe is leading the Service’s conservation initiative for Monarch butterflies and anticipates the conservation of 150,000 acres of pollinator habitat in 2015. Coastal Program staff support the development and implementation of the Service’s initiative, which includes strategic planning, partner outreach and coordination, prioritization of conservation projects, and technical and financial assistance for conservation projects.

PROVIDING CONSERVATION CAPACITY WITHIN THE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE SYSTEM

US FWS

Coastal Program staff are working with the Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge) to restore 41 acres of tidal marsh located in the Refuge’s White Slough unit. Historically, the tidal marsh was drained and diked for agricultural purposes and later it was managed as a freshwater wetland by the Refuge. Currently, the dike is failing due to erosion and age. If the dike fails, the area will likely convert to a tidal flat due to land subsidence. Coastal Program staff prepared the topographic survey and restoration plans. We also coordinated with Refuge and California Coastal Conservancy staff to acquire regulatory permits and funding for the project. The project was awarded a $1,000,000 National Wetlands Conservation Grant in 2014. The restoration is anticipated to start in the beginning of 2015.


Technical Assistance SMALL MAMMAL SURVEYS ON THE NORTH FLORIDA REFUGE COMPLEX Coastal Program staff are conducting small mammal surveys to develop a species list for the North Florida Refuge Complex (Refuge Complex). This effort supports the strategic goals of the National Wildlife Refuge, including assessing the status and trends of natural resources and providing the data necessary to conduct landscape-level planning. The Refuge Complex encompasses the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge and the St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge and associated conservation easements in Georgia and Florida protecting nearly 95,000 acres of habitat for wildlife. These surveys are also important for the listing and/or recovery of endangered species, such as the Florida salt marsh vole. Currently, the known range of the vole is limited to Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge; however, the Refuge Complex also contains habitat for the voles. Its absence or presence on the Refuge Complex will confirm its listing or may lead to its consideration for de-listing.

NATURAL RESOURCE DAMAGE ASSESSMENT AND RESTORATION The Coastal Program supports the Department of Interior’s Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration Program, which is responsible for restoring natural resources impacted by contaminants (e.g., oil spills). We collaborate with other federal, tribal and state partners to assess resource impacts, and coordinate restoration planning and implementation. Even 25 years later, oil spill recovery efforts associated with the Exxon Valdez oil spill continue. For example, we are collaborating with the Great Land Trust and the Exxon/Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council to develop a GIS habitat assessment model to map and prioritize habitats for conservation within the 77,000 square mile Exxon/Valdez oil spill area, including 1,300 miles of impacted coastline. Background photograph: Seney NWR: USFWS Inset photographs (clockwise from top left): St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge: Danielle Marsh; Aerial view of oil spill: National Aeronautics and Space Administration; Millerbird: Sheldon Plentovich (USFWS); Exxon Valdez: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration


GULF OF MEXICO RESTORATION The Gulf of Mexico restoration is one of the most complex and comprehensive conservation efforts ever undertaken in the United States. This effort requires coordination among multiple federal and state agencies, and hundreds of local governments, conservation organizations and citizens. Coastal Program staff play an instrumental role in the Service's Vision of a Healthy Gulf of Mexico by providing critical links between governmental agencies and conservation partners to deliver collaborative, landscape-scale conservation. In addition, we are assisting with the administration of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund program. This and other funding opportunities are directing over $1.14 billion towards on-the-ground restoration projects, in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. Many of these projects have direct support and engagement by Coastal Program staff.

PREVENTING THE EXTINCTION OF THE NIHOA MILLERBIRD Coastal Program staff led a conservation effort to translocate Nihoa Millerbirds from Nihoa Island to Laysan Island, where a closely related Millerbird species went extinct in the 1920s. Both islands are part of the Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuge, which consists of islands, reefs and atolls located in the northwestern Hawaiian Islands. As with many species with limited numbers of individuals, catastrophic events such as hurricanes or the introduction of invasive predators can decimate an entire species population. By establishing a second population, we reduce the Millerbird’s risk of extinction, and the birds also fill the absent role of an insectivore bird species on the Laysan Island. Working with staff from the American Bird Conservancy, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Wildlife Refuge System, Coastal Program staff are monitoring the success of the Laysan population. As of September 2014, the Laysan population was estimated to have grown from 50 to 161 birds and is predicted to continue to grow. Conservation translocation may be a model for the recovery of other endangered species.


U.S. Department of the Interior US Fish & Wildlife Service http://www.fws.gov/coastal

Background photograph: Izembek National Wildlife Refuge : Amak Johrendt Front cover photographs (Left to Right): Attwater’s prairie-chicken: Noppadol Paothong; Bull trout: Joel Sartore (National Geographic) & Wade Fredenberg (USFWS) Laysan ducks: Sheldon Plentovich (USFWS) Back cover photographs (Left to Right): Lake sturgeon: Robert Pos (USFWS); Students: G. L. Jefferson (Sussex County Technical High School) Florida panther : Connie Bransilver

Coastal Program: 2014 Annual Report  

USFWS Coastal Program: 2014 Annual Report

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