SITE VISITS - Fauna
Mammal and reptile species are recorded during the field assessment with the use of visual identification as well as by means of spoor, call and dung, simultaneously with flora sampling. Possible burrows in the vicinity of the study area are also visually inspected for any inhabitants.
Due to the nature and habits of fauna, varied stages of life cycles, seasonal and temporal fluctuations along with other external factors, it is unlikely that all faunal species will have been recorded during the site survey. In addition, the levels of anthropogenic and agricultural activity within the Project site and surrounding area may determine whether species will be observed. Although all species may not have been identified during the field assessment the results obtained are still adequate to gain a thorough understanding of the available habitat and foraging potential within the study area.
Regarding bird fauna, bird surveys are conducted by a specialist on behalf of AEOLIKI Ltd. to record the breeding and migrating birds utilising the site and surrounding area, which will give an indication of any species that potentially could be affected by the proposed Project. During the transect any species observed or heard within 300 metres of the Project site is recorded. The survey involves walking at a slow pace with frequent stops through the survey site to listen and observe species. The route taken is to allow coverage to the maximum area of the site. Binoculars are used to help bird observation and identification. The survey is performed as described in “Bird Monitoring Methods” Gilbert et al 1998, with all species recorded on a sheet with notations on whether they were observed inside the site or outside the site, the observations included migratory nonbreeding birds if observed. For the results, the number of individuals of each species is recorded to give a rough estimate of commonality.
In any case and depending on the period of the survey, following the Game & Fauna Service guidelines for bird surveys for Environmental impact assessments, the records should be distributed accordingly, so that at least one migratory season (Spring or Autumn) or the breeding season are adequately covered for representative purposes.