The cold season means that many vertebrates, invertebrates and plants are in hibernation or some other form of dormancy; so it is usually a quieter time for professional ecologists. However, not everything stops for winter. We can still conduct a range of ecological surveys for a variety of purposes.
We're happy to announce that CGO Ecology's Senior Ecologist Noel Bergin is now qualified in City & Guilds NPTC Tree Climbing and Rescue. Although this sounds like an excuse for him to play around in trees, this training will enable him to carry out aerial inspection surveys, to asses trees for potential roost features (PRFs) for bats. As a licensed bat worker, Noel is able to visit roosts, and use an endoscope to investigate roosts and PRFs in trees.
This is a short article about the great efforts we and Dorset County Council (DCC) have been going to over the last year, to ensure that a major rebuild of the A338 dual carriageway in Dorset doesn't harm reptiles: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-dorset-34537681.
The British Herpetological Society has announced production of 'Amphibian Gullypot Ladders'. Finally an elegant way to prevent avoidable amphibian deaths has come onto the market, and the BHS is welcoming pre-orders from local authorities, conservation NGOs, ecological consultancies, and anyone else who might be interested.
Greetings from a rainy and windswept Bournemouth! Well we can't complain really, as we've had a wonderful Indian summer, and there's probably a bit more of it to come. As we go into the autumn/winter season, here's a summary of what the CGO Ecology team has been up to lately.
Tomorrow morning we're taking the CalMac ferry to the Scottish inner hebridean island of Rùm in search of rare snails. We're looking for tiny whorl snails (Vertigo species), guided by maps of Schoenus nigricans (black bog-rush, often associated with alkaline flushes), geology, geomorphology, and vegetation cover.
In five days time, we shall be heading up to the Western Highlands off Scotland, and taking a ferry to the Inner Hebridean island of Rùm. There we'll be joining colleagues from Scottish consultancy Caledonian Conservation, to carry out invertebrate surveys for Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).
CGO Ecology Ltd was set up in March 2008, and has since developed into an ecological consultancy offering a full suite of taxonomic expertise, whether in a development-mitigation context, or for conservation and status-assessment purposes.
Late May is typically the time that sand lizards (Lacerta agilis) start digging tunnels in which to lay their eggs. First they make several exploratory diggings in bare firm sandy ground, and may take several attempts before they manage to dig a suitable egg burrow. The nesting period usually lasts from the last week of May to the first week of June in southern England, and activity may be peaked or spread over a wider period if weather is poor. Warm dry afternoons and evenings are the favoured time for digging.
Spring is a busy time for ecological consultancies, and we often have to recruit seasonal staff and subcontractors at very short notice. At CGO Ecology we therefore welcome CVs from prospective employees and subcontractors at this time of year, but also throughout the year.