Provide and deploy 5 automated time-lapse cameras to monitor a sea lion haul in British Columbia

Solicitation number F5211-200692

Publication date

Closing date and time 2021/03/15 13:00 EDT


    Description

    TITLE: Provide and deploy 5 automated time-lapse cameras to monitor a sea lion haul out in British Columbia

    ACAN:

    The purpose of this Advance Contract Award Notice (ACAN) is to signal the government’s intention to award a contract for these services to North Pacific Wildlife Consulting, 3202 NE 185th Street, Lake Forest Park, WA, USA, 98155. Before awarding a contract, however, the government would like to provide other suppliers with the opportunity to demonstrate that they are capable of satisfying the requirements set out in this Notice, by submitting a statement of capabilities during the ACAN posting period.

    If other potential suppliers submit a statement of capabilities during this ACAN posting period that meets the requirements set out in the ACAN, the government will proceed to a full tendering process on either GETS or through traditional means, in order to award the contract.

    If no other supplier submits, on or before the closing date, a statement of capabilities meeting the requirements set out in the ACAN, a contract will be awarded to the pre-selected supplier.

    INTRODUCTION:

    This project is an initial pilot study to evaluate the use of automated time-lapse cameras at sites in British Columbia to help meet DFO’s Pinniped Research Program’s (PRP) population assessment mandate for Steller and California sea lions. The goal of the study is to assess the ability of cameras to document temporal variation in counts and brand re-sights. This would provide a valuable tool that can be applied to population assessment, and bring DFO’s efforts in line with other jurisdictions that assess and manage sea lions.

    BACKGROUND:

    Steller sea lions reside year-round and breed in Canadian waters as part of its pan-Pacific range. California sea lions venture into Canadian waters during the fall and winter. PRP has a mandate to provide current and accurate population assessments for sea lions in British Columbia (BC) and has conducted aerial surveys since the early 1970s. There are multiple sources of uncertainty in the survey counts including:

    • the correction factor applied to survey counts to provide estimates of abundance.
    • associated with the distinguishing pups and in species identification at mixed haul outs of Steller and California sea lions.
    • day to day changes in numbers of animals at individual haul out sites which should be included as an adjustment in the abundance estimate.
    • the contribution of animals immigrating from neighboring rookeries in SE Alaska, Washington, Oregon and California to breeding season and overwintering populations in BC waters.

    Accounting for these sources of variation and error in assessment related issues (the variation in daily counts, timing of pupping, contributing to brand re-sighting of US animals) can be addressed by more

    intensive monitoring. The deployment of remote automated time-lapse cameras is likely a cost-effective alternative to monitor sea lion haul out sites.

    OBJECTIVES:

    To furnish and undertake deployment of remote cameras on a select Steller Sea lion haul out to provide compositional counts (Steller sea lions vs California sea lions, differentiate pups and non-pups) for the purpose of:

    1. estimating temporal (daily and seasonal) variation in counts

    2. potentially documenting phenology of pupping

    3. re-sighting US branded animals.

    WORK REQUIREMENT:

    Ensuring timely completion and delivery of the camera systems, and appropriate installation of systems on site to maximize the probability of withstanding in situ conditions while ensuring proper orientation to obtain optimum data. The Contractor will provide the most accurate summary of counts as possible in the most time efficient manner.

    TASKS AND DELIVERABLES:

    The Contractor must provide 5 remote camera systems as well as material for appropriate mounting platforms and all related instillation hardware, and undertake deployment. PRP and the Contractor will coordinate to make the final selection of site and deployment date. Cameras will be oriented at various sections of a site to capture images of marked sea lions hauled out on land. These cameras will be programmed to capture images approximately every 20 minutes during daylight hours.

    Cameras must be retrieved 1 year after deployment and the Contractor will undertake image analysis. The Contractor must return raw data and a summary of results including total sea lion counts over time (differentiating species and pups/non-pups as best possible) and US animal brand re-sights.

    RESOURCES AND LEVEL OF EFFORT:

    Automatic high resolution digital time-lapse photo camera system (TLC) for continuous field observations. Camera systems are customized to withstand the harsh conditions of the North Pacific and provide continuous monitoring through supplemental external power (solar panel). Each TLC is completely autonomous and takes pictures of a portion of the haul out automatically from dusk to dawn at pre-set time intervals. An array of several TLC to cover the whole haul out, allowing for year round monitoring of Steller sea lions. TLCs are collecting information on the number of Steller sea lion pups and non-pups present and brand resight data for demographic studies for population assessment and trends.

    The extraction of identifiable information from the large quantity of images is a logistical and time-consuming burden. To remedy this problem, machine learning algorithms (neural networks) should be used to automate and accelerate data extraction

    MANDATORY CRITERIA:

    Minimum 10 years’ experience in assembling independent, automated time-lapse camera systems, customized to standards that can withstand year round, harsh to extreme weather and maritime conditions at sea lion haul out locations.

    Minimum 10 years’ experience in safely deploying and securing camera units to ensure they are not lost, as well as optimize placement to maximize coverage of the site for inclusive counting.

    Minimum 10 years’ experience in sea lion field research including safely working at and around haul out sites in proximity to animals themselves.

    Minimum 10 years’ experience in identifying and counting Steller and California sea lions from photos. This capacity includes the extraction of identifiable information from the large quantity of images in a time efficient manner through machine learning algorithms to automate and accelerate counts and marked ID extraction.

    ESTIMATED VALUE:

    The total value of the contract shall not exceed $70,140.00 USD excluding all applicable taxes.

    Contract duration

    Refer to the description above for full details.

    Trade agreements

    • No trade agreements are applicable to this solicitation process

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    Contact information

    Contracting organization

    Organization
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada
    Address
    200 Kent St, Station 13E228
    Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0E6
    Canada
    Contracting authority
    Bowness, Grace
    Phone
    506-429-6269
    Email
    DFOtenders-soumissionsMPO@dfo-mpo.gc.ca
    Address
    301 Bishop Drive
    Fredericton, NB, E3C 2M6
    CA

    Buying organization(s)

    Organization
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada
    Address
    200 Kent St, Station 13E228
    Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0E6
    Canada
    Bidding details

    Full details regarding this tender opportunity are available in the documents below. Click on the document name to download the file. Contact the contracting officer if you have any questions regarding these documents.

    Tender documents
    Document title Amendment no. Language Unique downloads Date added
    English
    14
    French
    4

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    Summary information

    Notice type
    Advance Contract Award Notice
    Language(s)
    English, French
    Region(s) of delivery
    British Columbia
    Region of opportunity
    Canada
    Procurement method
    Competitive – Selective Tendering
    Commodity - GSIN
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