GoMAMN Newsletter #1


GoMAMN Newsletter: Issue 1

Greetings from the GoMAMN Coordination Committee! This is the inaugural GoMAMN newsletter, which will be released on a quarterly basis. The purpose of this newsletter is to share information about the Network and ongoing monitoring projects, along with news and opportunities relevant to our work as we collectively strive to advance bird conservation along the Gulf of Mexico.


Team Member Spotlight: Mark Woodrey

Mark is an Assistant Research Professor with the Mississippi State University Coastal Research and Extension Center and also the Research Coordinator for the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. His program uses science to address coastal ecosystem management questions, with a focus on coastal birds and a habitat focus on tidal marshes. He is one of the co-founders of GoMAMN, serves on the Coordination Committee, and is co-chair of the marsh bird working group. He also serves as the lead Editor for the upcoming GoMAMN Monitoring Plan.

In this Interview, Mark provided us with details on his background, future directions of his research program, and his perspective on avian management in the Gulf. We also learned that Mark used to competitively throw boomerangs.

Read the full interview here.


Monitoring Project Highlight: Spatial Ecology and Demographics of Brown Pelicans in the Gulf of Mexico

by Patrick Jodice

In 2013, the South Carolina Cooperative Research Unit (SC CRU) initiated field research on Brown Pelicans in the Gulf of Mexico (visit the project’s website here), funded by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the U.S. Geological Survey. The original study profile was developed by Dr. Jeff Gleason while working for BOEM. BOEM, like many other agencies, needed data on movements, habitat use, foraging ecology, and reproductive ecology of pelicans to support regulatory and management decisions. Working with Gleason, the SC CRU expanded the original study profile to develop a detailed examination of pelican ecology. Juliet Lamb joined our team as the lead PhD student and Yvan Satgé as our Research Associate. Two overarching disciplines were selected for study— spatial ecology and physiological ecology. Together these two research avenues would provide a comprehensive assessment of how pelicans use the northern Gulf.

From 2013-2015, our team collected data from pelican colonies on the Florida Panhandle to those near Corpus Christi, Texas. Data streams included diet, productivity, health and contaminant loads in adults and chicks, and various aspects of movement patterns and habitat use. Results from these efforts are now being published in peer-reviewed journals and are being used to inform development of monitoring plans and to support decision making needs by federal and state agencies. The breadth and depth of data collected were extensive; therefore, for this newsletter, we decided to focus on one set of results using a unique storytelling format. Follow the link for a graphic novel about pelican migration in the Gulf of Mexico. Our team worked with a young, aspiring artist—my son, Noah Jodice—to create this graphic novel approach to communicating our science.

View the graphic novel here.


Paper Highlight: “Physical conditions and stress levels during early development reflect feeding rates and predict pre- and post-fledgling survival in a nearshore seabird.”

by Juliet Lamb, Kathleen O’Reilly, and Pat Jodice

 Take-Home Messages: 

(1) Levels of the stress hormone corticosterone measured in pelican chicks 3-4 weeks of age successfully predicted both fledging success and post-fledging survival

(2) Corticosterone levels reflected variation in nutritional conditions between colony sites, as well as nest-specific conditions such as nest height

(3) Measuring corticosterone in nestling feathers can be a valuable tool for comparing reproductive success between breeding colonies or years with minimal time and effort

Read the full paper here.



The Deepwater Horizon NRDA Trustee Council has approved the Monitoring and Adaptive Management (MAM) Manual Version 1.0 that will serve as guidance for the Trustee Implementation Groups

Five new osprey nesting platforms were recently installed in Alabama

Snake Key rookery and surrounding waters were closed to protect nesting birds

Louisiana Trustees have released draft plans for Recreational Use and the Barataria Strategic Plan

The NASEM Gulf Research Program released a new report on the Loop Current System.


Managing Visitor Use Along the Northern Gulf Coast
March 14-15, 2018 at the Grand Bay NERR, Moss Point, MS

Workshop for Coastal Wetland Wildlife Managers
May 22-24, 2018, at the Rockefeller Refuge, Louisiana

State of the Coast
May 30 – June 1, 2018 in New Orleans

Gulf of Mexico Alliance All Hands Meeting
June 11-15, 2018 in St. Petersburg, FL

National Conference on Ecosystem Restoration
August 26-30, 2018 in New Orleans

9th National Summit on Coastal and Estuarine Restoration and Management
December 8-13, 2018 in Long Beach, CA


The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (Council) approved the 2017 Funded Priorities List: Comprehensive Commitment and Planning Support (2017 CPS FPL)
Provides funding to its members to enhance collaboration, coordination, public engagement and use of best available science needed to make efficient use of Gulf restoration funds resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) has been published to the Council website. Applications for CPS funding will be accepted from members through April 30, 2018.

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) Funding Opportunity
NFWF Gulf Coast Conservation Grants Program seeks proposals with a focus on strengthening coastal resilience; advancing conservation and management on working lands for wildlife and water quality; and conserving living resources, in particular coastal birds. Proposals are due by 11:59 PM (eastern) on February 28.

NASEM Gulf Research Program Funding Opportunities
The NASEM Gulf Research Program seeks applicants for the 2018-2019 Science Policy Fellowship. Applications are due on March 14.


Did you know?

The name Rail comes from the Norse word Ralle, meaning to rattle

The Hermit Thrush is also known as the swamp angel


For more information contact Randy WilsonKate Spear, or David Reeves