Wildlife Habitat Assessment
AE biologists conduct wildlife and species habitat assessments in support of conservation efforts as well as for environmental permitting (Act 250 and Act 248). AE biologists conduct single species, and multi species assessments in a variety of habitats. Wildlife and wildlife habitats are identified, characterized and mapped as part of the assessments. Wildlife assessments are conducted in a variety of settings, including forest environments, high elevation environments, grassland environments, and wetlands.
Wildlife habitat assessments include characterizations of habitat quality, the extent of habitat, the present and past use of habitat, and assessments of impacts upon habitat where appropriate.
Wildlife assessments can include the determination of the presence/absence of wildlife use. This may involve the utilization of call and response auditory technology, remote wildlife camera utilization, wildlife tracking, and other wildlife sign interpretive techniques.
Some of the more common assessments include:
• Deer winter habitat
• Black bear feeding habitat and corridors
• Moose winter habitat
• Bicknell’s Thrush habitat
• Breeding bird habitat
• High elevation bird habitat
• Grassland bird habitat
• Reptile and Amphibian habitat
• Wildlife diversity assessments
Bicknell's Thrush Habitat Assessment and Breeding Bird Survey
AE was hired to evaluate the potential for the presence of Bicknell’s Thrush habitat within a proposed ski area expansion area. Bicknell's Thrush is a rare medium sized thrush that nests exclusively in sub-alpine spruce-fir forests in the northeastern US and southern Quebec. AE conducted field studies throughout the project area at elevations greater than approximately 2700’. Forest conditions were assessed for the likelihood to support Bicknell’s Thrush habitat based on canopy type, height and general structural characteristics. Habitat quality points were used to construct a map of probable high-quality habitat which was subsequently monitored for the presence of breeding Bicknell’s Thrush through song surveys. This work helped the client design their project to avoid high quality Bicknell’s habitat being used by this rare species and successfully permit the proposed expansion.