Targeted Significant Ecological Community Surveys
An ecological community is a naturally occurring group of native plants, animals and other organisms that are interacting in a unique habitat. Some ecological communities are at risk and require protection from clearing and further impacts. Such communities are classified as Threatened Ecological Communities (TECs), which may be protected under Commonwealth or State legislation, or both. Those of lower concern are termed Priority Ecological Communities (PECs), which are listed by the Western Australian Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) and considered in environmental impact assessments and approvals.
When an ecological community is listed as Federally significant, conservation advice is developed to assist its recovery. Conservation advice provides guidance on assessment, immediate recovery and threat abatement activities that can be undertaken to ensure the conservation of a listed species or ecological community.
Targeted ecological community surveys are required where there is the possibility that a TEC or PEC could exist within a study area, particularly if impacts are proposed, such as clearing.
Focused Vision Consulting Pty Ltd (FVC) has significant experience in ecological survey, specialised diagnosis, characterisation and mapping of conservation significant ecological communities; as well as their impact assessment, offsets, monitoring and management. In particular, our experience is in the assessment and diagnosis of the following TECs:
- Banksia Woodlands of the Swan Coastal Plain
- Tuart (Eucalyptus gomphocephala) woodlands and forests of the Swan Coastal Plain
- Eucalypt Woodlands of the Western Australian Wheatbelt.
How are Targeted Ecological Community Surveys carried out?
The potential need for targeted ecological community surveys to be conducted in the field will be informed by a desktop assessment, completed before mobilising to the field. The desktop assessment will identify TECs and PECs that may occur.
All targeted surveys for TECs and PECs should be tailored to the subject matter and may be in direct reference to Conservation Advice and diagnostic criteria therein.
Field assessments to diagnose the presence and other specific characteristics of TECs or PECs will usually utilise quadrat sampling in several replicates. The more quadrats, the more robust the data analysis and the more accurate the results. Some other specialist assessments may be required, such as condition assessments and mapping of individual Tuart trees and the extent of their canopies, required for mapping of the Tuart woodlands and forests. Patch mapping is another extension of targeted survey for TECs which may or may not be included in study scopes.
FVC’s Targeted Ecological Community Survey Capabilities
Focused Vision Consulting are specialists in targeted significant ecological community surveys, having completed several such projects over recent years. The team is particularly specialised in and known for targeted Banksia woodland TEC surveys across the Perth region.
Our team has well-refined methods that are in direct reference to the respective Conservation Advice documents and we have a proven track record with our methods and results being accepted by regulators.
Our targeted ecological community surveys are carried out by an experienced in-house team of specialists.
Key Relevant Project Experience
- City of Cockburn, Aboriginal Cultural and Visitor’s Centre, detailed flora and vegetation assessment with targeted Banksia woodland and Tuart woodlands and forests TEC surveys (2019)
- Main Roads, targeted Banksia woodland TEC diagnosis and mapping for selected potential offset sites (various sites) (2018, 2019)
- City of Cockburn, Cockburn Central East Local Structure Plan area, Verde Drive extension and Lot 800 works, biological assessments, including targeted Banksia Woodland TEC assessments (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019)
- Main Roads WA & the Integrated Project Team (with Jacobs & Arup), Great Northern Hwy, Bindoon Bypass, targeted Banksia woodlands assessments (2016, 2017, 2018)
- Perth Airport, targeted Banksia woodlands TEC assessments (entire airport estate and three offset sites) (2016-2017)
- Forrestania Operations, North Ironcap and Bad Bat projects, reconnaissance flora and vegetation survey incorporating Eucalypt woodlands of the Wheatbelt TEC (2018)
- City of Cockburn, Frankland Park, detailed flora and vegetation assessment with targeted Banksia woodland TEC survey (2017)
- Ardea Resources Limited, Goongarrie Cobalt Nickel Project, two-phase detailed flora and vegetation assessments, including targeted flora and PEC surveys (2018)
"The company provides excellent customer service. Project updates are regularly provided; Project Leader is always available to promptly respond to any queries. Services provided by FVC are value for money. Timeframes for completing work and submitting reports are always satisfactory. The quality of survey work, data submission and report writing are always excellent."
Marni Baetge, Environment Officer, Main Roads WA, 2019