WILDLIFE SCIENCES ENVIRONMENTAL CONSULTING

Research and implementation of scientifically sound strategies are core to Normandeau's wildlife sciences environmental consulting. Our ecologists are experts in the protection, conservation, and sustainable management of wild animals in their native habitat.

Environmental consulting services we provide within wildlife sciences:

Habitat Suitability Assessment

Habitat Use Surveys

Presence/Absence and Abundance Surveys for all Taxonomic Groups, including;

    • Bat Surveys – Acoustic, Mist Netting, and Telemetry
    • Breeding Bird Surveys
    • Insect Surveys – Dragonflies, Butterflies, Tiger Beetles
    • Raptor Surveys – Migration, Breeding, and Overwintering
    • Remote Survey of Marine Species though Aerial Thermographic Imaging
    • Reptile and Amphibian Surveys
    • Track and Sign Surveys

Impact Assessment following Permit-specific Requirements

Project-specific Natural Heritage Database Review and Agency Consultation

Risk Assessments

Avian Powerline Interaction Assessments

USFWS Wind Energy Guidelines Compliant Studies

Habitat Restoration Planning

Adaptive Management Plans

Avian and Bat Protection Plans

Bald and Golden Eagle Management Plans

Identification and Assessment of Lands for Habitat-based Mitigation

Impact Mitigation Plans

Pre- and Post-Construction Monitoring including Wind Power Projects

Normandeau’s fisheries biologists are experienced with marine and freshwater fish species.  We are experienced with diadromous (anadromous and catadromous) fish populations including both American eel and river herring.  Our sturgeon expertise includes anadromous species indigenous to the East Coast, such as the Atlantic and shortnose sturgeon and potadromous species found in the Great Lakes and Mississippi drainages, such as the lake and shovelnose sturgeon.

Normandeau’s expert fisheries biologists conduct Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) and Biological Assessments, sophisticated mark/recapture and hydroacoustic studies, agency negotiation, and mitigation development.  We conduct field studies, compile biological assessments and Habitat Conservation Plans, and represent clients in Endangered Species Act (ESA) Section 7 and Section 10 consultations.

Our fish passage operation projects range from the basic passing of American Eel elvers above a low-head dam on an East Coast stream to the monitoring of millions of Pacific salmon on the largest rivers of the Pacific Northwest.  To reliably estimate the survival rate of fish as they travel through various passage routes, Normandeau developed the HI-Z Turb’N Tag® a unique fish recovery technique.

We are Instream Flow Incremental Methodology (IFIM) certified, and our expertise includes USFWS Habitat Evaluation Procedures (HEP), and we often provide training to federal and state agencies.  Our aquatic specialists adhere to the EPA’s Rapid Bioassessment Protocols (RBP) to evaluate stream/river habitat for macroinvertebrates and fish, supported by a full array of technology and equipment, boats, trailers, and sampling instruments.

Terrestrial

            Normandeau conducts habitat assessments and field surveys for terrestrial mammals, from boreal forests that provide habitat for Canadian lynx, to scrub-shrub habitat associated with transmission lines and New England cottontail populations. With the survey results and habitat data Normandeau evaluates a project’s potential impacts and designs proactive impact avoidance and mitigation strategies. Normandeau has assisted numerous clients with navigating the regulatory process to maximize positive outcomes for both the project and the species of interest.

Marine

            Our scientists are experienced in characterizing, identifying, and evaluating potential issues associated with offshore development and maintenance activities. Normandeau uses state-of-the-art ultra-high resolution aerial imagery to record and identify the locations of marine mammals including turtles, whales and sea lions. Our scientists are experienced in characterizing and evaluating potential issues associated with undersea cables, such as electromagnetic fields and thermal plumes. Normandeau develops Biological Assessments for federally threatened and endangered species in support of Section 7 Endangered Species Act consultation with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service.

Normandeau’s biologists provide services to avoid and minimize impacts to rare insects, including dragonflies, tiger beetles, moths, and butterflies. These services include habitat assessment, direct surveys, minimization and mitigation planning, and monitoring mitigation outcomes. Because some insect species are wholly dependent on specific plant species, Normandeau’s biologists are skilled in species-specific host plant identification and coordinate with our staff botanists for habitat assessments if needed. Surveys may involve observation, collection, and photographic documentation to verify species presence, as appropriate.

Normandeau conducts surveys and research on a wide variety of amphibian and reptile species, from the northern black racer in New Hampshire to indigo snake in Florida. Our experience includes call surveys for frogs and toads, active searching surveys for presence/absence of a wide variety of snakes and turtles, trapping and telemetry studies for turtles, and habitat assessments for all species. Normandeau’s biologists have the qualifications to receive state handling permits as required to survey for and handle a wide variety of state-listed amphibian and reptiles including well-qualified FWC Authorized Agents to perform all aspects of gopher tortoise permitting and relocation in Florida. Additionally, Normandeau’s biologists and wetland scientists have extensive experience conducting vernal pool assessments and identifying the amphibian egg masses present, including blue spotted salamander and wood frog.

Normandeau scientists understand that bats live throughout the United States and play a major role in all terrestrial ecosystems. Therefore, proper planning will minimize potential impacts to species at risk including the federally endangered Indiana bat, the federally threatened northern long-eared bat, grey bat, and other protected species such as the Florida Bonneted Bat. Development and tree removal can impact roosting and foraging habitat, thereby triggering Endangered Species Act permit requirements.

Normandeau’s dedicated bat team is staffed with biologists who have advanced degrees in bat ecology, decades of experience, and maintain the necessary permits to capture and tag protected bat species. Our team possesses a unique skill set and deploys innovative technologies to address bat issues, such as ReBAT and TIMR.

Normandeau ornithologists are highly skilled in designing and managing bird field studies. We routinely coordinate our projects in an ever changing regulatory landscape. We are familiar with the requirements of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act as they relate to project execution. We conduct bird pre-construction point count surveys, raptor counts, and nocturnal bird surveys at wind facilities throughout the United States. Data from our field studies provide species composition, relative abundance, and frequency of bird use. We perform post-construction monitoring carcass counts and fatality estimation studies using the Huso Estimator or Evidence of Absence approaches. Normandeau conducts winter raptor surveys, monitoring for eagles as part of shoreland requirements, nest surveys for bald eagle and ospreys, breeding bird surveys for numerous other rare, threatened or endangered species presence.

Normandeau developed the Remote Condor Observation Network (ReCON™) as an early detection system that provides energy facility operations centers with real-time alerts of an approaching condor.

Our unique understanding of avian/power line interactions has resulted in our work with the Avian Power Line Interaction Committee (APLIC) and subcommittee to update Reducing Avian Collisions with Power Lines with federal review by the USFWS.

Normandeau's Acoustic-Thermographic Offshore Monitoring system (ATOM™) is a bird and bat detection system that provides day and night monitoring in the offshore environment.

Normandeau has experience with over 67 mussel species from the Interior Basin and Atlantic Slope including numerous state or federal listed species. We hold federal and state collection permits throughout New England, the Upper Mid-west, and Mid-Atlantic regions. Normandeau’s recognized USFWS Qualified Surveyors are approved to handle thirteen federally endangered mussel species, throughout USFWS Regions 3 (Midwest) and 5 (Northeast; 17 states), including but not limited to, the Upper Mississippi, Ohio, Allegheny, Potomac, Susquehanna, Delaware, Hudson, Connecticut, Merrimack and Lake Erie drainages. Our fully integrated Qualified Surveyor and dive team routinely supports transportation, pipeline, hydropower and infrastructure projects. Our Qualified Surveyors are experienced in species identification, population surveys, tagging, relocation, and survivorship studies. From concept to completion, we are adept with numerous mussel survey protocols, programmatic agreements, project coordination, and formal Section 7 Endangered Species Act consultation.

Normandeau botanists have extensive experience surveying rare plants, including state and federal-listed species and their habitats, such as the northeastern bulrush. Coordination and surveys may be required to successfully obtain state and federal permits for energy, transportation and land development projects. Our botanists work closely with agencies to develop comprehensive survey protocols designed to maximize detection of known and undocumented rare plant populations. Our nationwide staff are well versed in the various regional flora, and botanical surveys are always performed to comply with state and federal methodologies. Surveys are performed during the specific survey windows for target species, and habitat surveys can be performed throughout most of the year. Field documentation includes a description of the type, condition, and dominant vegetation cover for all habitats within the project area, and plant populations are mapped with a Trimble® global positioning system (GPS) unit capable of sub-meter accuracy.