The majority of development sites have the potential to support protected species. Our team of surveyors can assist you with a range of protected species survey requirements tailored to your site for birds, bats, badger, great crested newt, otter, red squirrel, reptiles and water vole.
UK WILDLIFE LAWS
The Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) is the primary legislation for the protection of wild birds, their eggs and nests, protection of other animals and plants.
The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 are enacted in England and Wales and cover the protection of European Protected Species (Bats) and protection of European sites.
Protection of Badgers 1992 protects Badgers from deliberate killing, harming, capture and destruction or obstruction of active setts.
Surveys focus on the location of setts, latrines and foraging routes. Thermal scopes and trail cameras are used to quickly assess the number of animals in the clan, use of potential setts and foraging areas.
Great Crested Newt
We undertake a range of methods to survey for great crested newts. These include completing Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) and eDNA sampling on ponds and waterbodies. Great crested newt surveys include egg searches, torching, bottle trapping and hand netting.
Great crested newt surveys consist of undertaking 6 visits to suitable ponds to establish presence or absence. If great crested newts are present then the aim of the surveys is to establish the size of the population which is required to inform a robust impact assessment. If no great crested newts or evidence of presence are found then surveys stop after visit 4.
Otter surveys are generally carried out in conjunction with water voles surveys. Holts within river banks are the main features we look for in carrying out surveys. Latrines are usually on obvious prominent features such as large rocks. Foraging routes across terrestrial land can be located by the presence of footprints on river banks and underpasses. Trail cameras are used to provide additional information on the presence of these animals.
Water vole surveys are generally surveyed in conjunction with otter surveys. Latrines of both species are usually on obvious prominent features such as large rocks and river banks. Foraging signs such as nibbled grass, gardens, runs and burrows are all searched for during a survey.
Presence and absence surveys include the distribution of artificial refugia in optimal reptile habitats such as bare ground, rough grassland and scrub.
We can offer aquatic invertebrate surveys and monitoring with detail down to species level.
The north of England is a good stronghold for red squirrel and are more abundant in conifer plantations where grey squirrels do not thrive as well as in deciduous woodlands. At FALCO Ecology we survey for red squirrels using high definition binoculars and thermal imaging. Signs of presence of red squirrel on a site can include foraging signs (chewed cones), dreys, observations and historic records.