Endangered Species Surveys & Consultation
Eco-Tech biologists specialize in rare plant and animal surveys. An understanding of species’ requirements and community processes is essential for potential ecological impact assessment and avoidance.
Our scientists have surveyed for federally protected plants and animals across the nation, resulting in distribution records and life history information for many investigated species. Eco-Tech holds scientific collection permits for over 50 federally-listed species in more than 20 states, including bats and other small mammals, freshwater mussels, fish, and plants. Eco-Tech biologists have additionally performed numerous surveys involving dozens of state-listed species from California to New Jersey.
Every project with the potential to impact a listed species demands experienced biologists versed not only in scientific methodology, but also the regulatory implications of a positive determination of presence. Missteps made by unqualified personnel in this crucial step could mean the difference between project success and failure. At Eco-Tech we do not take this responsibility lightly. During the course of any field investigation for listed species, Eco-Tech senior leadership will be on-site for immediate decision-making and agency/client notification tasks.
The capture or identification of a federally-listed species may only be the beginning of detailed strategy, negotiation, and field investigation tasks with multiple governmental agencies. Formal consultation under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) can be a daunting challenge to even the most seasoned field biologist. Our senior staff scientists, however, have experience in the cost-effective preparation of formal Biological and Ecological Assessments and supporting technical documents, including Habitat Conservation Plans, for several species across the U.S.
In the end, quality endangered species consultants should have experience in both the technical and regulatory sides of the ESA. Knowledge of the interplay between other applicable regulatory processes is mandatory. Eco-Tech has significant experience in all phases of the of the ESA framework.
Aquatic Ecological Evaluation
Our aquatic biologists are experienced in field and laboratory assessment methodologies necessary to fulfill a wide array of aquatic assessment needs. We have conducted numerous studies conforming to United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Rapid Bioassessment Protocol and individual state methodologies for the determination of biotic integrity.
From macroinvertebrates to mussels, our staff regularly employs innovative strategies learned from years of “getting our feet wet.” However, innovative methodology is useless without equipment. Eco-Tech possesses a variety specialized equipment, including a fish backpack electroshocker, 20’ aluminum boat, laboratory micro- and stereoscopes, various seines and nets, water quality probes and chemical kits, sediment ponar samplers, and multiple scuba set ups.
Aquatic services include:
- Assessment of instream habitat
- Determination of geomorphic stability
- Macroinvertebrate sampling and identification
- Fish studies
- Impingement estimates
- Freshwater mussel surveys
- Large river benthic substrate sampling
- Scuba and snorkel visual assessments
- Instream flow studies
- Water chemistry testing
- Aquatic stage amphibian surveys
- Assemblage health/vigor analysis
- Biological monitoring of restoration projects
- Impact/risk assessment
Terrestrial Ecological Evaluation
Eco-Tech has extensive experience designing and conducting a wide variety of terrestrial ecological studies. As part of road, utility, or other development projects, documentation of sensitive habitats and species is often required by one or more regulatory agencies.
Eco-Tech has the field knowledge and experience to design and conduct investigations to aid in the determination of listed-species presence/absence through the implementation of various survey methodologies, including mist nets, live/museum traps, pitfalls, track identification, audible/visual surveys, motion photography, and aerial and ground-based radio telemetry.
Terrestrial services include:
- Botanical surveys
- Invasive species control plans and removal
- Quantitative vegetation community monitoring
- Vegetation indices
- Small mammal trapping
- Herpetological surveys and trapping
- Bird point counts
- Migratory nest searches
- Bat mist netting, trapping, telemetry
- Migration/foraging mapping
- Habitat assessment
- Cave/abandoned mine exploration
- Formal Biological Assessment
- Rare community restoration and management
- Habitat enhancement plans
Habitat Assessment & Management
Eco-Tech frequently works with government agencies, corporations, non-profit organizations, and private landowners to develop sustainable solutions for the conservation of ecological resources.
The scope of habitat projects we have accomplished is vast, from backyard forest management for the proliferation of bird viewing opportunities to comprehensive vegetation management plans for large right-of-way landowners. Whatever the scale and goals of the project, our staff collaborates across multiple disciplines to develop ecosystem-scale solutions.
Increasingly, the control and removal of invasive exotic species is a central issue. Eco-Tech has experience in developing and implementing sound planning tools to eradicate these unwanted species and also replace their vacated niche with appropriate native counterparts. Additionally, we work with several regional and local nursery partners to provide cost-effective implementation planting and removal schemes. In many cases, our own ecologists are encouraged to participate in planting events to maintain quality assurance criteria and foster a hands-on relationship with each managed property.