Level A Data Collection for Marine Mammal Stranding Events
NOAA Fisheries created a series of forms that collect valuable stranding information through a process known as Level A data collection.
Stranding network responders use a series of forms to collect basic information on stranding events as well as morphology, life history, biology, and general health. Scientists and natural resource managers use the information in these forms to help promote the conservation of marine mammal species, as well as to respond to and mitigate threats to marine mammal populations.
Level A data collection requires the following forms and guide:
Marine Mammal Stranding Report-Level A data (PDF, 2 pages)
Marine Mammal Rehabilitation Disposition (PDF, 2 pages)
Marine Mammal Human Interaction (PDF, 2 pages)
Examiners Guide (PDF, 53 pages)
What Kinds of Data Do These Forms Collect?
The Marine Mammal Stranding Report-Level A Data form asks basic questions about the stranding event, and the Marine Mammal Rehabilitation Disposition form (PDF, 2 pages) collects data on animals that are admitted to a rehabilitation center. The Marine Mammal Human Interaction Report (PDF, 2 pages) gathers more detailed data on how humans affect stranded marine mammals.
When Should These Forms Be Completed?
Stranding network responders complete the Marine Mammal Stranding Report-Level A Data form for every stranding event; the Examiners Guide (PDF, 53 pages) provides a detailed description of all events requiring this form. The Marine Mammal Rehabilitation Disposition Report is completed for every animal that is transferred to a rehabilitation center. Finally, the Marine Mammal Human Interaction Report should be completed for every animal that requires the Marine Mammal Stranding Report – Level A Data form and is Condition Code 1 (alive), Condition Code 2 (fresh dead), or Condition Code 3 (moderately decomposed).
If you have any questions or concerns about filling out these forms, please contact your regional stranding coordinator. The new and revised forms are currently being programmed into the National Stranding Database, so that our network partners can directly upload data for the revised Level A data collection.
How Can I Access Data Collected on These Forms?
Access to the National Stranding Database is limited to active participants in the National Stranding Network. Members of the public can submit a data request to obtain data from the national database.
Proposed Revision to the Forms
The Marine Mammal Stranding Report – Level A form, Marine Mammal Rehabilitation Disposition Report, and Marine Mammal Human Interaction form are being renewed under the Paperwork Reduction Act. The MMHSRP is taking this opportunity to make some minor revisions to the Marine Mammal Stranding Report – Level A form. The Examiner’s Guide will also be updated to reflect these changes. The other two forms, Marine Mammal Rehabilitation Disposition Report, and Marine Mammal Human Interaction form are not being revised.
The proposed forms are:
1. Marine Mammal Stranding Report – Level A *revised*
4. Examiner’s Guide *revised*
More details can be found in the recently published Federal Register Notice that summarizes this data collection and the estimated burden to the stranding network. The MMHSRP invites comments on the proposed revisions to all of the forms, including forms that have no proposed revisions, and the Examiner’s Guide. All comments should be submitted formally through the Paperwork Clearance Officer, Adrienne Thomas (PRAcomments@doc.gov), so that they can be recorded, summarized, and included as a matter of public record. The public comment period ends on February 11, 2020.
After the public comment period closes, the MMHSRP will further revise the forms based upon the Network’s input. Once the forms are finalized through the Paperwork Reduction Act clearance, the MMHSRP will work with the stranding network to identify when the new forms will go into effect. We appreciate your thoughtful suggestions, comments, and concerns as they will help to ensure these forms are easy to complete and the data collected will be useful to both the MMHSRP and the national stranding network.