3.15 Such assessments, along with the project design and operational works plans and schedules, form the basis of the information required for the formulation of the Wildlife Protection and Management Plan.
3.16 In some instances, site, fauna and flora surveys may have been previously conducted by other consultants to the project. In such cases, duplication is not required by the wildlife control operator unless discrepancies are suspected or observed.
3.17 The use of resource bases such as state or federal species distribution maps, local university resources and State department of Natural Resources are encouraged in the preparation of fauna and/or flora surveys by wildlife control operators.
3.18 A site survey should be conducted and a basic site plan drawn up indicating terrain features, waterways, vegetation types etc. Detailed site plans may be available from surveyors consulting on larger projects.
3.19 Site survey plans should be of sufficient detail to enable easy interpretation of the Wildlife Protection and Management Plan.
For example: large habitat/hollow trees should be individually identified, as should special habitat features likely to contain ground dwelling or burrowing wildlife, known mast or fruit producing trees and the like.
3.20 The following methodologies are provided as a minimum requirement when conducting fauna surveys prior to wildlife habitat disturbance:
a) Diurnal searches – Intensive investigation of the ground layer (i.e. under logs, rocks,
leaf litter) and low vegetation (i.e. under tree bark and tree stumps) and caves
targeting amphibians, reptiles, bats and animal traces (i.e. scats, owl pellets, remains
and tracks). Minimum effort: approximately 4 person hours per day conducted in the
middle of the day.
b) Pitfall traps – This method targets amphibians, reptiles and small mammals, particularly those mammals that aren’t readily recorded using other trapping methods (for example ground squirrels and voles). These traps should be cleared early morning and late afternoon. Minimum effort: Thirty (30) or more pitfall traps divided into four or eight lines comprising approximately four (4) pits (20l bucket) and a 15- 20yd. drift fence. However, the number of buckets per line is often best determined on individual site characteristics and may require 6-20 pits on a 50yd drift fence. Trapping duration is a minimum of four (4) days and nights.
c) Spotlighting – Nocturnal observations using both high powered spotlights and head lamps. This method targets nocturnal flying, arboreal and terrestrial mammals (bats), birds (owls), reptiles and amphibians. Call playback can also assist this method when