A local conservation group, concerned about the fate of threatened and endangered (T&E) species potentially present on town-owned land slated for development, retained GZA to investigate the wetland-stream complex.
GZA ecologists inventoried the approximately 11-acre wetland-stream complex to identify which T&E species likely inhabit the area and conducted surveys for target T&E species across potential habitat areas. With a keen understanding of the potential T&E species present and the site’s characteristics, GZA surveyed the property for the most likely breeding and nesting habitats, thus making ongoing survey efforts at the expansive site more focused and efficient. Additionally, GZA taught surveying techniques to conservation group members so that they could conduct ongoing surveys themselves. When the group identified a female State-threatened wood turtle and potential nesting site near the parcel slated for development, GZA ecologists returned to the property to verify and document the sightings for submission to the State.
GZA accurately identified potential target T&E species and related breeding habitats at the onset of the project, enabling the local conservation group to cost-effectively use their own resources to assist in surveying. With GZA, their focused efforts resulted in the identification of a State-threatened species and increased regulatory protection of a sensitive resource.