Argus Ecology

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Breeding bird surveys

January 18, 2019

Time to start planning for spring

At the moment we're well on the way through our programme of wintering bird surveys - vantage point surveys for wind energy developments, transect surveys on extensive sites and coastal surveys. There is still a little time to go before wintering birds will start to head north again.  However, the breeding season is just around the corner, and this is a good time to plan for surveys.

Breeding bird surveys are increasingly recognised as an essential part of most environmental impact assessments.  Many birds are recognised as 'priority species for the maintenance of biological diversity' through the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act in England and Wales, and Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act.  As such, they are a key consideration in planning decisions.  Bird surveys are of particular importance where a development may affect Special Protection Areas designated under the European Birds Directive, or Important Bird Areas recognised by the RSPB.

Good survey data allows a quantifiable assessment of ecological impact, and allows mitigation and ecological enhancement measures to be planned with the needs of particular bird species in mind.

Argus Ecology have experience of a range of survey methods, including Common Bird Census methodology, 'Brown and Shepherd' methodology for breeding waders in unenclosed upland areas, and 'O'Brien and Smith' methodology for breeding waders on lowland farmland/enclosed land. We have Vantage Point survey experience for wind energy developments, including the calculation of Collision Risk Assessment.

We can advise on the potential need for a survey based on site location and the nature of the development, and can consult with the local planning authority to agree a level of survey effort which will satisfy their requirements in a cost-effective manner.

 Don't hesitate to give us a call or drop us an email to discuss your requirements and request a quote.

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