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NOTICE OF REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS Population Assessment of the Wildlife Community Ecology in Coastal Wetland Ecosystems After Hurricanes Irma and Maria (2017) in Puerto Rico

Subject: Population Assessment of the Wildlife Community Ecology in Coastal Wetland Ecosystems After Hurricanes Irma and Maria (2017) in Puerto Rico

Grant number: F19AF01084

PROJECT DURATION: 24 MONTHS

  1. Introduction:

Coastal wetland ecosystems in the Caribbean Islands have been molded by natural events such as hurricanes and tsunamis for millennia, compounded by anthropogenic threats in more recent centuries. Hurricanes are highly characteristic of the region, are the most significant natural disturbance in Puerto Rico, and are likely to be critical determinants of avian structure in Puerto Rico’s highly anthropogenically modified coastal wetlands, where a diversity of flora and fauna of great ecological value are found, including aquatic gamebirds (waterfowl) of importance. In 2017, hurricanes Irma and Maria struck Puerto Rico. The magnitude of these events, and the difficult access during the first 10 months afterwards has made the evaluation of the impacts on the waterfowl and plant community ecology within the DNER’s forest management areas highly problematic, until very recently.

Puerto Rico’s coastal habitats are diverse and include various herbaceous and palustrine associations typical of the seasonal and permanent wetlands of Puerto Rico. Forest types include mangrove, coastal scrub, and coastal forest. Wildlife includes resident species of concern, federally listed endangered species, and several migratory waterfowl game species of importance.

  1. Need

Determine the status of aquatic bird populations following the impacts of Hurricanes Irma and Maria (2007) in Puerto Rico. Information on the biotic environment, including species-habitat relationships of the aquatic bird and plant wetland communities, is inadequate (Sánchez-Colón 2015; Sánchez-Colón and Schaffner 2017). As such, there is a pressing need to quantify the effects of hurricane Maria on aquatic bird populations in coastal wetlands (i.e., the status of these populations and communities in response to the hurricanes), to determine what restoration and habitat recovery management practices may be needed, and the most effective means of implementation. Furthermore, species-habitat relations, habitat conditions, resource availability (e.g., feeding grounds and habitat), and the functional role of these coastal wetland ecosystems for sustaining avian biodiversity, particularly for waterfowl of concern, needs to be quantified.

Additionally, information on survival, nesting productivity (a critical component of population dynamics for many species of aquatic birds; Lor and Malecki 2006), movements and resource selection of the Common Moorhen (COMO), American Coot (AMCO), White-cheeked Pintail (WCPI) and West Indian Whistling Duck (WIWD) in these coastal wetland ecosystems need to be assessed.

  1. Project Objectives

  1. Characterize the seasonal hydrologic conditions of wetland habitats at different sites across Puerto Rico

  2. Determine the composition and structure of the wetland avian community at different sites across Puerto Rico

  3. Estimate nest productivity of the wetland avian community with emphasis in games bird at different sites across Puerto Rico

  4. Characterize plant community composition and structure at different sites across Puerto Rico

  5. Estimate the survival rates of relevant native game bird species at different sites across Puerto Rico

  6. Estimate multi-scale movement patterns and resource selection of relevant native game bird species at different sites across Puerto Rico

  7. Collect field data to construct Species Distribution Models (SDM) for relevant native game bird species at different sites across Puerto Rico

  1. Expected results and benefits

The results of this study will provide the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DNER) with a statistically-based and standardized approach to measure aquatic bird population conditions in coastal wetland ecosystems, and to identify limiting factors impacting wetland avian communities after the passing of Hurricanes Irma and Maria through the island.

V. Contractor Expectations

  • The contractor will be responsible to coordinate the scope of work with the refuge manager and stakeholders.

  • Complete the tasks associated with the project within a period of 24 months.

  • Reports: It will be required a write quarterly reports and one annual report, including project progress and management recommendation.

  • Material: As part of the proposal, a general breakdown of the equipment to be purchased must be filed.

  • Insurance: The contractor must formalize public liability insurance with a first endorsement in favor of DNER and a second endorsement in favor of the Government of Puerto Rico, which must be delivered to the DNER before the contract is granted. The contractor will be responsible, also, for any damage related to the rendering of its services, and will keep it free of risks and relieves the DNER of responsibility for damage to equipment, persons, employees or their representatives, resulting from the execution of the services covered in the contract.  

  1. Format and Required Content of the proposal

The proposer must submit a proposal that includes at least the following

elements:

  • Cover letter detailing the field experience in scientific methods.

  • The contractor must provide evidence of all authorizations (i.e. licenses and certifications) to operate its business in Puerto Rico.

  • The proposal must be written on a computer, with a font size 12, Times New Roman and 1.5 spaced.

  • Discuss how the project’s objectives will be met

  1. Other requirements:

  • Proponents must comply with all contracting requirements with the

Government of Puerto Rico, in accordance with current and applicable

law.

  • The proponents that were selected are committed to comply with the

provisions of Act No. 84 of June 18, 2002, through which it is established

the Code of Ethics for Contractors, Suppliers and Incentive Applicants

Economics of the Government Agencies of Puerto Rico.

VIII. Evaluation Criteria for Proposals:

CRITERIA

EVALUATED ITEMS

SCORE

Working Plan

Ability to perform the required works, a

comprehensive work plan, including detailed itinerary.

50

Compliance

Regarding compliance with state regulations (license or certifications to practice your profession in Puerto Rico) and applicable federal detailed content

10

Experience

Previous experience

20

Budget justification

Offer Amount proposed. proposals whose budget exceeds $ 664,000.00 will not be accepted

20

IX. Important dates:

DATES

OBLIGATION

22 May, 2020

Proposal request announcement

10 July, 2020

Period of Questions and Answers

23 July, 2020

Final Date, Delivery of Proposals

X. Delivery and Shipping Requirements:

  • Proposals will not be accepted after the established delivery date (23 July,

2020). As soon as possible, please notify the intention to participate by writing an email addressed to: jotero@drna.pr.gov

  • The proposal in original may be delivered to: Departamento de Recursos Naturales y Ambientales P. O. Box 366147 San Juan, Puerto Rico 00936. Also proposals will be accepted through mail electronic sent to: jotero@drna.pr.gov

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