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Flashcards in Ecology Deck (36):

Millenium ecosystem assessment

60% worlds ecosystem are being degraded or used unsustainably


Decline of indicator species

bird population indices
farmland birds
woodland birds
seabirds declined (1970 to 2012)


EIAs role

help conserve species and threatened habitats from development

doesn't address large-scale land use changes, pre-existing development and introduced species, climate change

Fauna and flora clearly written in to EIA law



scoping- incl consultation widest poss input for determin scope

identification of expected zone of influence

determination and evaluation of etiological resources

description of expected biophysical changes which would affect valuable ecological resources

assessment of changes if able to cause significant ecological impacts

developmetn o ecological improvement and mitigation measures for avoiding any negative impacts

assesment of ecological impacts and their significance

summing up of consequesnces for decision making

monitoring and implementation of mitigation measures and ecological outcomes


Limits of impact: quarry proposal zone of influence

ecological feature or resource within the area to be worked will be affected by changes in land cover by topsoil stripping and excavation

noise, dust and changes in human activity will also affect species in adjacent habitats

major long term deterring operations could have consequences for water dependent habitats distant from the quarry.

hydrological/hyrdrogeological modelling may be necessary

new infrastructure impacts beyond the boundaries of the site in addition to those affects by deterring.

zone of influence should include all such features that are of sufficiency value to be included in the assessment.


Desk study

information on protected area area and habitats:
local authorities
natural england (equivalent)
Local wildlife trust

specific groups (birders wildflowers, bat groups, herpetologists, butterfly groups)

Spationa investigations:

OS amps, geological maps, land use maps, habitat maps, remote sensing

county resources


Protected areas- Nationsl

updates 2000 countryside and rights of way act 2000- natural envy and rural communities

conservation in the UK run by nature conservancy Councils- Natural England



scienitific basses for selection
"national series to maintain the diversity of plants and animals in the UK"

old system (pre 2000) not very effective 45% of SSSIs in an 'unfavourable condition'

decline more often due to neglect rather than intentional damage

SSSIs habe managemnt statement can extend to land outside the site

financial rewards for positive management

management notice can be issues in the case of failure- followed by persecution and or compulsory purchase

offence of reckless damage by 3rd parties

development not permitted w/o satisfactory mitigation agreed by natural england

ie Barnet Reservoir Welsh Harp- waterfowl and other birds incl britains largest breeding pop of great crested grebe. >40 rare species of invertebrates


National nature reserve

scientific/research basis: national importance

usually owned or managed by NCC

400+ designated sites (900 proposed by ratcliffe 1977) (


Local nature reserves

similar basis for selection to SSSIs Local importance only

usually on land owned by local authority

designated by local authorities


non statutory nature reserves

wide range of individual local authority designations

SINCs (Sites of importance for nature conservation)

Barnet 1992- wildlife habitat surveys, 1997 Nature conservation of Barnet published= 67 SINCs. 2006= unitary development plan.

ie Greenways Southampton



Ramsar sites

Special protection areas (SPAs)

Special area of Conservation (SACs)- Natura 2000 sites- designed to safeguard the wildlife most at risk.

if impacts likely will need appropriate assessment

development possible if IROPI (imperative reasons of overriding public interest)



(Convention on Wetlands of international importance 1971)
covers wetlands under v broad definition
supports monitoring and conservation
general and probable unenforceable protection in the UK via national and EU laws
140 UK sites



designated to safeguard habitats of migratory and threatened species

240 sites UK


habitat directive 1992

special area of conservation 600 sites (UK):

presence of priority habitat type or species

presence of a habitat or species which is rare in the UK

presence of diversity of listed habitats and or species

presence of a large proportion of European resource


Marine/ Coastal

NNR (national nature reserves) and SSSI= low water only

Marine nature reserves: only 3 in UK and 1 voluntary (kimmerdge)
-broadly equivalent to NNR

heritage coats: no legal protection by considered by planing authorise in matters like development


Europeana Marine Sites

protected under European law and incl SACS and SPAs

part of europe wide network (Nature 2000)

can extend from terrestrial to marine


UK biodiversity framework

initiative from Earth summit (1992)

creates action plans for species and habitats

wider remit than traditional UK protection

funding with corporate partners

1150 pritority species

65 prority habit types (heathlands mires, brackish lagoons)


indivudal species protection

traditional protection via wildlife and countryside Act 1981. Since strengthen by CRoW, recently consolidated in conservation of habitats and species regulations 2010

Schedules species:

all birds
all reptile and amphibians
names plants and animals
licences needed for disturbance, handling, certain types of surveys

white clawed crayfish
nesting birds
water vole

prtection derived from:
hbaitats directive
wildlife and countryside Act 1981
conservation of habitats and species regulations 2010.


regulatory bodies

natural england- dispense European protected species licences

planning departments
country ecologists


implication for developers

developments halted and planning often refused on ecological issues

bat species most common

biodiversity action plan / national planning framework
european protected species licences needed for survey and management

costs and deals often results



17 species
hunt by echolocation
diet= invertebrates
hibernate during winter
roost during day hunt at night
roost types incl day transient hibernation feeding perch maternity and mating

emerge from hibernation in May

give birth to single pup (June- disperse August)

mate in october. feels store sperm during hibernation

go into torpor depending on weather conditions

make use of man made features

some spiced listed on biodiversity action plans as PRIORITY SPECIES

under current UK/EU leglislation illegal to disturb harm/ kill bats damage their breeding or resting places
i.e. could be illegal to re roof house

extend your property

demolish/ convert a building



initial survey carried out at any time of the year

external- access points, droppings, suitable habitats, flight lines

internal- feeding remains, droppings, scratch marks urine staining

phasse II - during active bat season

-emergancy reentry, sonogram analysis, visual observation

species type of roost (maternity/ day. hibernation/ mating)

how pip is the population- roost?

desrecutve search- supervised by licensed bat worker, removes any bats that do not leave of their own accord, sensitively carried out



avoidance= leave bats

compensation= replacement with like for like or similar

enhancemnt= additional feats to what is already present to promote biodiversity and protected species.



bat boxes/restoration of roost

20K bat house



bat boxes
hedgerows/ linear feautres
water features
increased access to loose areas enlargement of roost areas


Habitat surveys

baseline study should aim to establish the nature of a site.

NCC phase 1 habitat survey is widely accepted as the standard approach for assessing the ecological condition of a site during EIA


desk study what it should include

Is the site designated? Why?
Should it be designated?
(e.g. any protected species)
Any protected areas nearby?
Has it been surveyed already?
When? What methods were used?
Are the data available of sufficient quality?


Field study

NCC phase 1 habitat survey

desk study may provide sufficient information to make a detailed field study unnecessary

site visit to check info gathered is advisable

unlikely that detailed ecological information will be available and initial survey using NCC phase 1 method


Aims of JNCC phase 1 survey

should be adequate for prelim ecological survey
-developmetn cause sig eco impacts?
-important habitats, taxonomy groups species been identified?
-contentious issues appeared?
-other survey work needed?
-impacts be evaluated on magnitude and scale?
-importance of habitats and species?
- sensitivity?

provide a record of vegetation and wildlife habitat using a reproducible method based on standard classification of vegetation types and referring to topographic and substrate features

method was developed with conservation aims by is equally applicable to coastline studies in enact assessment prior to development


methods field study

aerial photography
GIS generated base map
ground truthing i.e. direct measurement if needed

vegetation types are mapped (usually on OS) based on 90 specified habitats types

target notes- made in field give brief account of particular areas of nature conservation interest- need for more detailed survey work (phase 2&3) in specific areas

habitat areas can be estimated using GIS



mapping gives highly visual presentation of data gathered: useful to other members of EIA team


limitations of NCC phase 1



phase 2 and 3

phase 2- ususally restricted to single habitat types or major groups
more detailed species level identification
more exact habiat classification
national vegetation calssification
diversity evaluations: assesses range of variation within a particular habitat classification
diversity evaluations: assesses range of variation within a particular habitat

phase 3:

highly detailed specialists often needed
extent and distribution of plan and animal species on sites
produces detailed infromation on frequency or abundance of communities and species


Appropriate assessment

report wchi assesses potenital effects upon a designated European site
UK government planning policy also extends the same levels of protection to ramsar sites

AIMS: assess implications a proposal would have on sites convservation objectives

ascertain whether competent authority usually guided by Natural England

competent authority (LPA) guided by natural england

devloper musy supple infromation

considered in parallel to ES at the time of decision

inform decisions involve IROPI

INCLUDE: desription of development, potential impacts on SPA with respect to conservation , mitigation


Imperative reasons of overhang public interest (IROPI) for Natura 2000 sites

negative assesment:
absence of alternative solutions
plan or project must be carried out for imperative reasons of overriding public interest incl social or economic nature

member states shall take all compensatory measures necessary to ensure that overall coherence of Natura 2000 is protected

shall inform the commission of the compensatory measures adopted.
ie UE permission is neeed.

human health, public safety
beneficial consequences of primary importance for the envy
further an opinionf from commission to other imperative reasons of overriding public interest.