Survey season is just around the corner, and we want to make sure you are fully prepared for it! Depending on the species you are looking to survey, the time and process that should be carried out will differ. We have collated a handy interactive Wildcare Ecology Survey Calendar below so you can keep an eye on surveying optimal and sub-optimal conditions. Click on the images to be taken to the relevant equipment on our site!
What needs to be considered prior to surveying?
There are several key factors that can affect surveying, such as weather conditions, location, and species of animal, to name a few. This means surveying can only happen during particular times of the year and as a result, you will have to be well prepared in advance!
Ecological surveys need to be carried out before any type of property or land development to ensure that no pre-existing habitats are being disturbed or destroyed. Regardless of if it looks like there is evidence of species living in the area, it is imperative that these surveys are carried out. Failure to comply with biodiversity regulations can result in legal implications, from heavy fines to prison sentences.
Below is a list of typical habitats where you may find protected species, which if found on the project site, would need an ecology survey before work commences.
- Lakes or bodies of water
- Ponds or ditches
- Woodland, scrub, or hedgerow
- Parkland, pasture, or meadow
- Complex tree structures, caves, or cave-like spaces
- Coastal habitats
- Large rural or suburban gardens
- Existing derelict buildings, farm buildings, timber frame buildings with access points
Our Top Tips for Surveying throughout the year
Badger bait surveying is most effective between late February to late April. You should use peanuts and syrup mixed with different colour badger bait marking pellets for each set.
Reptile felts and corrugated refugia need to be given two to three weeks to bed down before the surveys can begin. Depending on the weather, refugia inspections usually begin between March and April. Furthermore, providing water temperatures that are above five degrees centigrade, two out of the four required newt surveys must be carried out between mid-march to mid-April; when the newts are almost guaranteed to be in their ponds.
Dormouse nesting tubes are recommended to be placed between late March and early April. Cable ties can be used to secure the tubes, however, a reusable alternative can be hook and loop straps which works just as well!
There is a relatively short window for great crested newts eDNA surveys - 15th April - 30th June, so be sure to pre-book your testing kits well in advance.
Finally, all species mentioned above are protected by UK law, you must be a licensed ecologist to carry out these surveys. Different levels of licence are required depending on the survey and migration. Find out more at www.gov.uk/guidance/wildlife-licences.
Wildcare’s survey season must-have!
If you will be partaking in any bat surveys this year, we recommend the Echo Meter Touch 2 Pro for IOS. If you own an IOS device, the Echo Meter Touch 2 Pro allows you to pair with your device and listen to bats in real-time with unparalleled fidelity; giving you recordings that match products costing thousands of pounds more.
If you don't have an iPhone, don't worry. Wildcare also stocks the Echo Meter Touch 2 Pro for Andriod too!