Habitat Survey & Mapping
Habitat survey and mapping is one of FERS core services, having undertaken projects nationwide at a variety of scales. FERS botanists have a wealth of experience in conducting surveys for a wide range of habitats, including woodland, grassland, freshwater, marsh, heath, coastland and peatland communities.
FERS botanical expertise is matched by our expertise in habitat mapping using GIS software, with two of our ecologists qualified to M.Sc. level in GIS. FERS proven ecological experience in combination with high proficiency in GIS mapping software enable us to deliver accurate and interactive mapping and analysis of habitat survey data.
Field methodology for habitat survey follows the Heritage Council’s Best Practice Guidance for Habitat Survey and Mapping (Smith et al, 2011). Habitats are classified according to Fossitt (2000) – A Guide to Habitats in Ireland, EU Annex I habitat type or appropriate detailed vegetation classification scheme (e.g. Irish Vegetation Classification system) as required by the client.
Habitat map example with habitats classified and mapped according to Fossitt habitat categories
Detailed Botanical Survey
Where preliminary surveys indicate that plants or habitats of conservation interest are present, it may be necessary to undertake detailed quantitative botanical surveys. FERS botanists are highly experienced in identifying, evaluating and monitoring botanical communities and individual plant species. Our botanists have a wealth of experience and can draw on nationally recognised experts for critical groups.
FERS also has extensive experience in preparing, implementing and monitoring conservation management plans for a wide variety of habitats and species. These plans have included plant species protected under domestic and European legislation for a variety of clients, including the Flora Protection Order species Hairy St John’s-wort (Hypericum hirsutum).