Protecting Natural Resources – Bat Surveys/Wetland Delineation

ShawAFBWetlandOur natural resources work includes conducting ecological surveys such as identifying the presence of rare, threatened, or endangered (RTE) species and delineating wetlands. For example, Marstel-Day has begun a comprehensive survey of bats at five Federal sites and an analysis of bat acoustic data at six other sites to help determine presence, or absence of certain bat species. We perform the mistnetting technique to visually identify and monitor species including potential telemetry tracking of individual bats. The data our clients understand bats’ movements and habitat use when developing management plans to support bat populations and reduce conflict with human-based actions. Our clients also use RTE survey data to comply with the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

We also help protect wetland areas (bogs, marshes, and swamps) by analyzing the three mandatory wetland boundary criteria: wetland water (hydrology), wetland vegetation (hydrophytic) , and water saturated (hydric) soil indicators. During site visits, we capture Global Positioning Systems (GPS) data and use Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) techniques to map each potential wetland area. The reports, maps, and data sheets we create provide the US Army Corps of Engineers the information and data necessary to make a jurisdictional determination if the wetland meets the definition of Waters of the United States. For example, Marstel-Day has delineated more than 100 acres of wetlands this year for USACE determination at five Federal sites.

Under the ESA, the presence of endangered or threatened species, such as the Indiana bat and the northern long-eared bat, could result in required consultations with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service aimed at avoiding any attempt to “harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect” a species.

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