Case Study By Sean Altern – Consultant: Biodiversity Conservation Services
In order to lessen the environmental impact resulting from developments in natural areas faunal or, ‘animal’ search and rescue may be required to mitigate the impact on animal species. This entails careful planning and systematic searching, capture and relocation of certain listed animals that tend to hide when danger approaches rather than run off. This survival technique of avoidance unfortunately puts them, and contractors, at risk when sites are cleared.
Depending on which species are expected and following an assessments of site variables NCC tailors our approach guided by years of experience coupled with vast in-house expertise. Whether it is by utilising certain types of traps or methods thorough planning and research always precedes our arrival on sites and ensures excellent results.
Before any species relocation is possible NCC, based on in-depth studies, applies for an official permit to relocate. Prior to arriving on site the scrutiny of the permits listed species against the site habitat characterises is undertaken in order to identify ‘hot spot’ localities for these species which results in more effective targeting.
Sites are traversed with special focus on the identified target hotspots. Any species found are professionally captured, recorded and their position GPS marked before being safely and timeously relocated and re-recorded. Site managers receive daily updates on progress and at the end of the project all information is collated into a neat and informative report (with supporting KMZ files) for the client and permitting department.
All NCC teams work under full health and safety regulations, project specific rules whilst being guided by site and project specific risk assessments
Faunal search and rescue needs to be well planned to account for seasonal behaviour of species such as those that may burrow as well as habitat variability.
As animals tend to move around it is often of most benefit to conduct the operation immediately before clearing begins or conduct a prior walk through to identify ground-truthed hotspots to focus on.
Faunal search and rescue is a specialist field and an invaluable element in reducing the impact of developments and construction on animals. Common projects that may require faunal search and rescue are:
- Solar Pv farms,
- Housing Developments,
- Infrastructure Upgrades,
- Dam construction,
- Site clearance.
Development and preserving the environment are required to walk hand in hand. Implementing mitigation measures inclusive of professional search and rescue is a vital service that NCC has a proven track record of excellence in and which it enables real growth for people, planet and business.