Introduction to Ecological Assessment

What is an Ecological Assessment?

An ecological assessment is the examination of all ecological resources on earth i.e. atmosphere, water, land (minerals, soil, etc), sunlight, flora, and fauna that naturally survive to detect the present and changing conditions. All the existing data on the species, habitats, and features available on a particular area and its surrounding are analyzed from different authorized sources. The site of assessment is also visited to survey the species, habitats and features and then the data are used to ascertain the possible ecological impacts, decide if the further survey is required, recommend appropriate mitigation and suggest measures improve and control the impacts that have been identified by the assessment.

To make an accurate assessment of the ecological significance and contribution of a site you need to find the existence and absence of protected species habitats. The planning organizations need to consider the biodiversity and then conduct a thorough ecological assessment in sunshine coast before they carry out development plans.

What is the significance of Ecological Assessment?

An ecological assessment is important to take into account the presence of priority or protected species on the particular site and provide information about the size of the population of the species, the period when the species is present, ways the species use the site, the impact of the development plans for the priority species. A botanically complex site generally requires habitat assessment. The sites that require ecological assessment are sites of biological or geological importance, sites of special scientific interest, special areas of conservation, special protection areas and sites involving ancient woodland.

What elements would the Ecological Assessment include?

Information about ecological consultants– The survey report should include the name of the ecologist who is conducting the survey and his cumulative years of experience.

Desktop Ecological Survey– This includes gathering existing ecological information related to the site and also Ordnance Survey plan indicating the site and surrounding buffer area from the records of Local Biodiversity Record Centre. From the records, the ecologist has to deduce if any protected species and his habitat will have an impact because of the development of the site. The survey report should include a description of the site along with its location and map, the current status of the site, designated sites within 1 km and details about all ecological data.

Field Study of the site– the Field-based study of the site includes information about the date, time and weather condition of the site at the time of the survey. There should be detailed information about the method of the survey, the species and their habitats that are present at the site, their extent, frequency, and location.

Evaluation of the site– The ecological importance of the site should be evaluated and included in the report, there should be clear indication of the impact of the development on the biodiversity of the site and its surrounding, the species that are going to be affected by the development, mitigation and compensation proposals and any other impacts of the proposed development.

Duke Environmental is a specialty in environmental management and ecological assessment in sunshine coast. They have demonstrated experience in contaminated land assessment, environmental assessment, acoustics, and acid sulfate soil investigation.