Contract to identify whether persistent areas of harbour porpoise and bottlenose dolphin are supported by available evidence.

 

JNCC is seeking to establish a contract to support the UK’s Natura 2000 network:

 

With a view to identifying areas for harbour porpoise and bottlenose dolphin that may be considered to represent SACs with these species as qualifying features.

 

The work will build on a previous JNCC project  ‘Analysis of harbour porpoise sightings data in relation to area-based conservation’ produced by M. Bravington, D., Borchers, & S. Northridge. Bravington et al (2002) which used the data contained within the Joint Cetacean Database (JCD) to identify persistent areas of high usage for the species. It concluded that no persistent areas of high harbour porpoise density were found, but recommended the following:

  • Investigate further the possible hotspots in the Irish Sea and off Eastern Britain.
  • Develop and apply methods that address the deficiencies highlighted in this analysis, to make optimal use of the data to detect hotspots.

 

Since the 2002 analysis, many additional surveys from a wide variety of sources have been undertaken and statistical analysis techniques have evolved. The Joint Cetacean Protocol (JCP) was developed to bring these datasets together. The JCP data set comprises 38 data sources with data from at least 542 distinct survey platforms (ships and aircraft) representing over 1.05 million km of effort covering a 17 year period from 1994-2010. The data providers include government funded work such as the Small Cetaceans in the European Atlantic and North Sea (SCANS) and Cetacean Offshore Distribution and Abundance in the Offshore Atlantic (CODA) surveys and the European Seabirds at Sea (ESAS) surveys; surveys undertaken by NGOs and academics; and also work by industry (e.g. in relation to potential renewable energy installations in UK waters). A robust analysis of this dataset is now required.

 

The Annex A document provides more detail on the background to the proposed project and further details on the expected outcomes. The results will be used by JNCC and the other Statutory Nature Conservation Bodies to inform their advice on the possible designation of Special Areas of Conservation for harbour porpoise and bottlenose dolphin.

 

What to do next

 

Potential bidders are invited to download the following documents and complete the acceptance form of our terms and conditions attached to the invitation to tender (ITT).

Timetable

 

  • Date for return of quote:            26 February 2013
  • Proposed start date:                  25 March 2013
  • Proposed end date:                   25 September 2013