Biological planning for bird habitat conservation in the GCJV area is typically led by GCJV Office staff, aided by other members of the GCJV Science Team and other partners. The Science Team maintains the integrity of the biological foundations of regional bird conservation plans endorsed by the GCJV Management Board, reviews habitat conservation proposals for consistency with regional bird conservation plans, and provides technical guidance regarding habitat and population monitoring.
The Science Team comprises four working groups: Waterfowl, Landbird, Shorebird, and Waterbird. Figure 1 shows the relationships between the working groups and GCJV staff. The GCJV Biological Team Leader (BTL) serves as the current Chairperson for the Waterfowl Working Group. The Bird Conservation Specialist (BCS) also serves as the current Chairperson for the other working groups. Science Team working groups generally consist of habitat management-oriented migratory bird scientists with international, national, or regional recognition in one or more subject areas of significance to the Gulf Coast.
Priority species are selected on the basis of their conservation need as determined in the respective national and regional bird conservation plans (North American Waterfowl Management Plan, North American Landbird Conservation Plan, U.S. Shorebird Conservation Plan, and North American Waterbird Conservation Plan, National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative) the relative importance of Gulf Coast habitats in relation to the species' total range, the ability to enact meaningful conservation actions in the GCJV area to influence the species populations, and other factors, including economic or cultural importance, and the extent of existing programs developed to address the species' conservation.
Science Team working groups employ the following steps in biological planning for bird habitat conservation along the Gulf Coast: