Conservation

Upcoming Enrollment Opportunity for Spring Flooding through Bid4Birds

Upcoming Enrollment Opportunity for Spring Flooding through Bid4Birds

The California Ricelands Waterbird Foundation (Foundation) is happy to announce the upcoming enrollment period for the Spring 2021 Bid4Birds habitat program. Bid4Birds is the Foundation’s partner program to The Nature Conservancy’s BirdReturns program. 

The Bid4Birds program focuses on extending the post-harvest flooding period in rice fields for the benefit of waterbirds, particularly shorebirds. While the standard winter flooding period is beneficial for many migrating waterbirds in the Pacific Flyway, many birds migrate through later into the spring when they find most fields and marshes are dry. Providing flooded habitat when its most scarce is important in both the spring and fall seasons. 

Bid4Birds provides incentive payments for growers to implement shallow flooding on their rice fields over 4 to 10 weeks, starting February 15 and continuing through May. The Foundation solicits program participants through an auction in which growers submit bids based on their own assessment of their costs to provide this critical habitat. The Bid4Birds Habitat Selection Committee, including representatives from Audubon California, California Rice Commission, Point Blue Conservation Science, and The Nature Conservancy, will assess bids in a standardized way using data on when and where birds need the habitat most. In spring having habitat in March and April is the most valuable. Applications with flooding during this time period are more likely to be selected. 

Bids will need to be submitted through the Foundation website between December 11, 2020 and January 11, 2021. The bid submission form will be live starting tomorrow. 

If you have any questions about the program or would just like to learn more, please visit the Bid4Birds webpage or contact CRC Wildlife Programs Manager Luke Matthews directly at lmatthews@calrice.org or (916) 607-8988.

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