TEST METHOD: Collecting biodiversity information

Updated: 24 November 2006 (NatureMaps references added)

RISK ASSESSMENT

Assess the Quality, Safety and Environmental risks of each step.

OVERVIEW

Single event flora and fauna surveys do not collect all the available information relating to the biodiversity of a given site. Work by other researchers allows a more complete picture to be developed.

TASK SAFETY REQUIREMENTS

Delta dress code applies.

If working away from the office ensure others know of your destination

 

SPECIFIC JOB STEPS

RISK ASSESSMENT

RISK CONTROL

Existing information on flora

Use Atlas SA or NatureMaps to identify site specific (if possible) flora surveys undertaken by the Bioligical Survey of SA or other government agencies, and download or purchase the data sets

Request data from the State Herbarium for localities with the same morphology within 5-7 km of the site

Examine Delta's computerised records for species lists, both those Delta has conducted and those from other groups such as UFBP

Use the Delta library to find biodiversity plans, reserve management plans and flora surveys. Also use online library catalogues to search the Barr Smith Library and State Library. Use Internet search engines to locate other surveys published online. The DEH has links to many large surveys at http://www.environment.sa.gov.au/biodiversity/biosurveys.html

 

There are no flora surveys marked for my site

How do I match morphologies of distant sites?

 

What tools are available for searching computer and online data?

 

Use the nearest survey site with a similar morphology, if it is within 5km

Aerial photography or oblique aerials (eg the coastal obliques on Atlas SA), soils/geology/vegetation association layers in Atlas SA, published biodiversity works (the regional biodiversity plans), site photographs in Delta's collections

Use Lookout (an add-in for Outlook) to search for words inside files (and filemanes) on Delta's computer sytem. Use the Access database to search the library or browse the following Dewey numbers: 582.1, 333.95 and 639. Search engines such as Google that use Bayesian logic are better than category engines such as Yahoo.

Amalgamated flora table of others work

The table should have columns for common and scientific names, exotic status (an asterisk or x for exotic species in this column), conservation significance (code and region) and then a coloumn for each data source or survey (an x for each species found). The codes are R (rare), E (endangered), V (vulnerable), X (extinct), U (uncommon) and K (unknown status which needs investigation). The regions are SA (State), Nat (National) or the regional inititals based on Herbarium regions (eg SL - Southern Lofty).

 

Where do I find the conservation status?

 

Briggs and Leigh's ROTAP book (national), the EPBC web site (national) regional biodiversity plans (regional), Florlist 2004 from the Herbarium (regional, state and national), the Schedules of the National Parks and Wildlife Act (State).

Existing information on fauna (general)

Less is available, however the following may help. Use Atlas SA and NatureMaps to identify site specific (if possible) fauna surveys undertaken by the Bioligical Survey of SA or other government agencies, and download or purchase the data sets

Examine Delta's computerised records for species lists, both those Delta has conducted and those from other groups such as UFBP

Use the Delta library to find biodiversity plans and NPWS reserve management plans. Also use online library catalogues to search the Barr Smith Library and State Library. Use Internet search engines to locate other surveys published online. The DEH has links to many large surveys at http://www.environment.sa.gov.au/biodiversity/biosurveys.html

Most fauna data is reported within the text of the report. Where large amounts are available (eg bird lists) a table may be used.

 

There are no flora surveys marked for my site

What tools are available for searching computer and online data?

 

Use the nearest survey site with a similar morphology, if it is within 5km

Use Lookout (an add-in for Outlook) to search for words inside files (and filemanes) on Delta's computer sytem. Use the Access database to search the library or browse the following Dewey numbers: 639, 592-599, 333.95. Search engines such as Google that use Bayesian logic are better than category engines such as Yahoo.

Bird surveys in particular

Site bird lists for several areas are available in Delta's computerised files and in the library. Search these resources as outlined above for flora. Online Peter Waanders and other ornithologists publish many locality-specific bird lists. Local bird associations have contact details online and are often happy to share lists. Specialist ornithologists at the Universities are often willing to help. Obtain at least three site-specific lists if possible.

 

I still can't get any lists!

 

The Birds Australia online Birds Atlas will generate a list for the 1-degree grid your site occurs in. This is a LARGE area (about 60km across) and so should only be used as a 'list' when no other data is available, as it will include birds found in other habitats than the one you are examining. Normally the data f rom this list is used as a single sentence in the report saying that "the region is known to support X species of birds (Birds Australia, date), but the local habitat hosts the following species..."

Amalgamated bird lists

The table should have columns for common and scientific names, exotic status can be marked as an asterisk following the species name (not before - it messes with sorting), conservation significance (code and region) and then a coloumn for each data source or survey (an x for each species found). The codes and regions for birds are similar to those used in the flora, except that there are additional matters of conservation significance addressed by the EPBC Act, relating to treaties about conservation of wetlands for birds and ensuring the safe passage of international migratory species. These matters are recorded in the conserevation significance column as, for example, "EPBC Act (migratory)"

 

Where do I find the conservation status?

 

The EPBC web site (national ratings and 'other protected matters'). Use the "Protected Matters Tool" to generate a list of species that have conservation significance that COULD occur in your area and use this to rate the birds recorded in the lists you have collected. Other sources of ratings include regional biodiversity plans (regional), and the Schedules of the National Parks and Wildlife Act (State).

     

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