An ecological study is sometimes required to inventory plant species or to assess wildlife or wildlife habitat impacts from a proposed project. It may also be required as part of the wetland permitting process. Plant surveys and wildlife studies may be required depending on the exact species or issues raised during the review. Projects proposed which could impact rare, threatened or endangered species habit should address such impacts and the permitting issues at a very early stage in the project design.
A rare plant survey may require the survey to be performed when the plant is expected to be at certain stages of development in order to confirm the precise species. Significant project delays can occur if the window to perform the plant survey is missed. It may require returning to the site during the next growing season or at key points in time to perform the required assessments.
Wildlife studies may also be required during specific times of the year in order to assess the species in question at critical times in their development.
Vernal pools are seasonal, depressional wetlands that are covered by shallow water for short periods of time in the spring and may be dry in the summer or fall. Vernal pools (a.k.a. ephemeral pools) provide a rich habitat for plants and animals. Spring time monitoring is essential to make a determination as to whether a depression is functioning as a vernal pool.