I undertake survey work for common reptile species (slow worms, common lizards, and grass snakes) and also for amphibians, principally great crested newts.
Areas of work we cover include:
Common reptile species:
- Presence/ absence surveys and population class size assessments
- Translocation and exclusion schemes
- Habitat enhancement/creation and mitigation schemes
- Monitoring and habitat maintenance work
Great crested newts:
- I am an appropriately licensed ecologists, able to undertake presence/absence surveys and population class estimates
- Habitats enhancement/creation schemes including pond design and creation and hibernacula design and creation
Great crested newts occur throughout much of England and Wales, but they are of conservation concern across Europe, and so they are a European Protected Species (EPS). This makes it an offence to kill or injure a great crested newt, or to damage refuges or ponds used by great crested newt, even when they are not there. So if a development is considered likely to damage habitat that could be used by great crested newt, a survey and assessment needs to be completed before a planning application can be submitted.
An assessment of likelihood of a pond to be used by great crested newt can be calculated using the Habitat Suitability Index (HSI); this combines a number of factors that are known to be important to newts, such as size and features of the pond, geographic location and proximity to other ponds. Great crested newt surveys include searching for eggs (on natural or artificial media), netting for efts (young newts) or adults, or using torches and bottle-traps to confirm the numbers of newts present, as well as carrying out refuge surveys on the land surrounding ponds.