A focal species
is a species primarily benefited by a project/contract action. Focal species may be a group of species, such as wildlife, or a subset of a species, such as an ESU (evolutionarily significant unit).
Contractors identify focal species for each applicable work element when building a Statement of Work in Pisces. Focal species identification is not required for all work elements (for example, focal species is not applicable for work elements like Manage and Administer Projects, Produce Environmental Compliance Documentation, or Produce Pisces Status Report, among others). Focal species data are then rolled up to the project level by Pisces for reporting purposes.
Primary and Secondary Focal Species: Contractors can identify both primary and secondary focal species at the work element level. Primary species are those that the project was specifically designed to benefit. Secondary species are those that will receive incidental or indirect benefit. For example, if the removal of a passage barrier will open up habitat for steelhead, Chinook, and bull trout, then three primary species would be selected: steelhead, Chinook, and bull trout. If you are operating a screw trap in order to capture Chinook for data collection, Chinook will be your primary species. If you also collect data on steelhead that are accidentally captured in the screw trap, steelhead will be your secondary species. Multiple species or groups of species can be chosen for the primary and the secondary categories as long as they are unique for the work element. Selections that lead to duplicate entries are prevented by Pisces.
Focal species are divided into three groups: anadromous fish, resident fish, and wildlife. Contractors may choose focal species from more than one group. The list of focal species for each category has been developed based on current projects and BPA's reporting needs. Pisces also provides a link to ESU distribution maps to help contractors correctly select the ESU(s). "Other Anadromous" and "Other Resident" options can be used to add unlisted species to the Secondary list only. Requests for the inclusion of new species must be approved through the BPA project manager.
Wildlife: The majority of wildlife projects are habitat-oriented and involve a large number of species. Therefore, in order to balance our information needs with the time required to provide this information, we have limited the wildlife species list to one option of "Wildlife." Wildlife can only be selected once for the primary species list and once for the secondary species list. Specific species information can be provided in a text box (displays when you add Wildlife to one of the lists). Multiple species entries are allowed within the text box; individual species should be separated by commas. Separate metric functionality is being developed to track habitat units associated with wildlife projects for crediting against the loss assessments.