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ECOFACT are specialists in the ecology of estuarine and transitional water environments. ..

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Estuarine Ecology

Estuarine ecology and assessments of proposed developments in brackish waters, transitional waters and estuaries is one of our core areas of expertise.  Brackish water habitats and periodically saline habitats of estuaries and transitional waters constitute a variety of niche ecosystems and include lagoon habitats, which are listed as a priority Annex I habitat on the EU Habitats Directive (1992). The specialist ecological requirements and rich diversity often recorded within estuarine environments has resulted in a significant proportion of these habitats being designated as Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) or as Special Protection Areas (SPAs) for the conservation of birds. As part of the EU-wide Natura 2000 network, these sites are afforded protection at an international level.

ECOFACT are specialists in the area of estuarine ecology and hydrological assessments and our experience extends across the range of micro-habitats found in estuarine and transitional water environments. Project requirements in estuaries can often provide unique and significant challenges.

Cardiff Barrage estuarine ecology estuarine ecology (2)

ECOFACT offers the following specialist services for estuarine areas:

  • Ecological Impact Assessment for proposed developments within estuarine or transitional waters.
  • Focused Article 6 Appropriate Assessment required for developments potentially affecting SAC or SPA sites or their conservation interests within estuarine or transitional waters.
  • Digital habitat mapping including identification of sensitive Annex I listed habitats
  • Water quality monitoring for baseline assessments or construction phase impacts
  • Aquatic ecology, water quality and terrestrial ecology impact assessments for flood and coastal defense schemes
  • Wastewater and licensed discharge monitoring and receiving water impact assessments for estuarine environments

Also see our research page on eels, which includes major surveys and research and the Shannon estuary in relation to European eel.

Current News Stories:

  • Bats surveys for wind turbines – new guidance

    Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) published new guidance in January 2019 for bats surveys at wind farm sites. These new guidelines are entitled “Bats and onshore wind turbines – survey, assessment and mitigation”. The document incorporates findings from the latest research on the impact of wind farms on bats.  It is endorsed by all the statutory […]

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  • Non-volant mammal surveys 2019

    We are one of the leading companies in Ireland providing mammal surveys and assessments. We provide expert advise on both bats and terrestrial non-volant (i.e. non-flying) mammals. We undertake surveys for all terrestrial non-volant mammal species in Ireland, including Badger, Otter, Red Squirrel, Pine Marten, and non-native American Mink, among others. Our staff are fully […]

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  • Filming a documentary on Sea Lampreys

    We were delighted to work recently with BBC Earth on a documentary on Sea Lampreys Petromyzon marinus. The filming took place during early-June 2017 on the old River Shannon at Castleconnell, Co Limerick. This is part of the Lower River Shannon Special Area of Conservation, and Sea Lampreys are a key conservation interest of this […]

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  • Major new book – Wildlife and Wind Farms

    A major new book will be published in May 2017 entitled ‘Wildlife and Wind Farms: Conflicts and Solutions’. Volume 1 of this book includes a chapter prepared by Ecofact Principal Ecologist Dr. William O’Connor. The two-volume set provides a comprehensive overview of the interactions between wind farms and wildlife, each volume dedicated to one of the two […]

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  • Surveying wintering birds in the Irish Midlands

    Our staff are currently undertaking a number of wintering bird surveys in the Irish Midlands. Here we have provided some photos and videos from bird surveys we undertook during December 2015. Our bird surveys are undertaken to inform both the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Natura Impact Statement (NIS) reports being prepared for proposed wind energy […]

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