Section 7 ESA Consultation

Section 7 ESA consultation is required for projects to identify whether any proposed or listed species are located within a given area of a proposed action. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) requires project review information to meet the requirements of Section 7(c) of the Endangered Species Act (EA) of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). Potential direct, indirect, and cumulative effects to federally lusted species or their critical habitat must be considered during the evaluation. Migratory birds  must also be considered during these evaluations under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) and the Bald Eagle and Golden Eagle Protection Act (BGEPA). Non-federal type projects are not subject to Section 7, however, Section 9 of the Act may prohibit certain activities that may affect federally listed species. For an evaluation and consultation of your project please contact us or request a quote today. See additional services here.

Biological Assessment Using Drone (UAV, sUAS). Wetland and Stream Delineation.
Drone ESA Assessment Section 7

 

According to the USFWS website (www.fws.gov) the following provides a brief description of Section 7 ESA Consultation for informal and formal consultations:

Informal Section 7 ESA Consultation

Under Section 7, Federal agencies must consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) when any action the agency carries out, funds, or authorizes (such as through a permit) may affect a listed endangered or threatened species. This process usually begins as informal consultation. A Federal agency, in the early stages of project planning, approaches the Service and requests informal consultation. Discussions between the two agencies may include what types of listed species may occur in the proposed action area, and what effect the proposed action may have on those species.

If the Federal agency, after discussions with the Service, determines that the proposed action is not likely to affect any listed species in the project area, and if the Service concurs, the informal consultation is complete and the proposed project moves ahead. If it appears that the agency’s action may affect a listed species, that agency may then prepare a biological assessment to assist in its determination of the project’s effect on a species.

 Formal Section 7 ESA Consultation and the Biological Opinion

When a Federal agency determines, through a biological assessment or other review, that its action is likely to adversely affect a listed species, the agency submits to the Service a request for formal consultation. During formal consultation, the Service and the agency share information about the proposed project and the species likely to be affected. Formal consultation may last up to 90 days, after which the Service will prepare a biological opinion on whether the proposed activity will jeopardize the continued existence of a listed species. The Service has 45 days after completion of formal consultation to write the opinion.

In making a determination on whether an action will result in jeopardy, the Service begins by looking at the current status of the species, or “baseline.” Added to the baseline are the various effects – direct, indirect, interrelated, and interdependent – of the proposed Federal action. The Service also examines the cumulative effects of other non-Federal actions that may occur in the action area, including state, tribal, local, or private activities that are reasonably certain to occur in the project area.

Kentucky Bat Survey

Kentucky Bat Survey

During this bat survey for a planned resource extraction site (surface and underground highwall/auger coal mining) mist net and acoustic sampling was employed. Prior to sampling a summer and winter habitat assessment was performed to identify the amount of and potential for habitat presence. The Kentucky Bat Survey (Whitley County) was performed on an approximately 120 acre tract of land was surveyed and clearance was recommended due to no captures of Threatened or Endangered species. Biological Systems Consultants’ bat survey team is equipped to take on all of your bat survey needs. Our staff is fully permitted and qualified to conduct surveys for the endangered Indiana Bat (Myotis sodalis), threatened Northern Long Eared Bat (Myotis septentrionalis), and endangered Gray Bat (Myotis grisescens) throughout much of their range, and has extensive experience with habitat assessments, summer and fall mist-net surveys and mine portal surveys, and acoustic monitoring and analysis. If you have any questions about your Section 7 ESA compliance or the new 4(d) rule issued for the Northern Long Eared bat, or have been requested to address bats on your project for any reason, please give us a call and we will be happy to walk you through the process and take care of all your bat survey needs. Contact us or request a quote today.  See additional services here or read more about this topic here.

Kentucky Bat Survey Mist Net
Mist Net Site
Kentucky Bat Survey
Bat Survey Station
Kentucky Bat Survey
Mist Net Site

 

Northern Long-eared Bat Facts: According to the USFWS website the following paragraphs describe potential summer and winter habitat for this species:

Winter Habitat: Northern long-eared bats spend winter hibernating in caves and mines, called hibernacula.  They use areas in various sized caves or mines with constant temperatures, high humidity, and no air currents.  Within hibernacula, surveyors find them hibernating most often in small crevices or cracks, often with only the nose and ears visible.

Summer Habitat: During the summer, northern long-eared bats roost singly or in colonies underneath bark, in cavities or in crevices of both live trees and snags (dead trees).  Males and non-reproductive females may also roost in cooler places, like caves and mines.  Northern long-eared bats seem to be flexible in selecting roosts, choosing roost trees based on suitability to retain bark or provide cavities or crevices.  This bat has also been found rarely roosting in structures, like barns and sheds.

Bat Mist Net Survey

Bat Mist Net Survey

Biological Systems Consultants’ bat survey team is equipped to take on all of your bat survey needs. Our staff is fully permitted and qualified to conduct surveys for the endangered Indiana Bat (Myotis sodalis), threatened Northern Long Eared Bat (Myotis septentrionalis), and endangered Gray Bat (Myotis grisescens) throughout much of their range, and has extensive experience with habitat assessments, summer and fall mist-net surveys and mine portal surveys, and acoustic monitoring and analysis. If you have any questions about your Section 7 ESA compliance or the new 4(d) rule issued for the Northern Long Eared bat, or have been requested to address bats on your project for any reason, please give us a call and we will be happy to walk you through the process and take care of all your bat survey needs. Contact us or request a quote today.

Mistnet Survey
Summer Mist Netting
Mistnet Net Mine Portal
Mine Portal Netting
Anabat
Acoustic Monitoring – Anabat Detector