Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: South Carolina
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

South Carolina Project

Building International Capacity for Seabird Conservation

April 2011 - December 2012


Participating Agencies

  • National Fish & Wildlife Foundation

The coastal wetlands and islands of the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico and the surrounding marine areas provide essential habitats for migratory and resident waterbirds (seabirds, shorebirds and waterfowl) and many other birds. They are increasingly threatened by coastal development, sea-level rise and invasive species, amongst other threats. The impacts of these threats were compounded by the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill, which affected aquatic birds directly through oiling and indirectly through damage to breeding habitats and feeding grounds. The goal of this project is to compensate for lethal and sublethal damages to Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico seabird/waterbird meta-populations and their habitats caused by the DWH oil spill by building long-term, in-country capacity to address threats and effectively manage and conserve species and habitats. We will (1) implement immediate conservation projects at high-priority sites that also will serve as demonstration projects for a later capacity-building training workshop, (2) train key individuals (including protected area managers, scientists, and their partners who will themselves implement projects and act as trainers) during a multi-day capacity-building workshop, (3) support trained individuals by developing and implementing projects (to be supported by a small grants program) as well as long-term funding proposals. These activities will mitigate the effects of the DWH and permanently increase the capacity to address other short and long-term threats. The main activities will focus on assisting local practitioners to implement practical conservation activities addressing regional priority needs.