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A snake ID challenge

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GemmaJF View Drop Down
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Joined: 25 Jan 2003
Location: Essex
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Aug 2012 at 1:24am
Originally posted by sussexecology sussexecology wrote:

You have raised some very good points there Gemma. I agree that this is good news  but I was shocked by your description  of the reptile survey in the rabbit grazed areas. This didn't come as a surprise though which is really depressing and if I can so, sad.

Add to this SE that this particular organisation has directly undercut our quotes recently and it really makes my blood boil. Not really sure of what action to take. I have plenty of evidence of their total incompetence yet a developer will take the lower quote. It's a circular thing, they are rubbish at conducting reptile surveys, animals are not found where they should be and the developer 'gets away' with it. In the meantime we get progressively less work. 

Well I do have one solution. Next year I'm considering setting our rates to blatantly undercut them. I can afford to work practically at cost for several yeas, lets see if they can Wink

Regarding your client, for this type of work there really should be no time constraint. 

My surveys are being conducted over a couple of seasons to really get to know the site. I think this important for management recommendations at a Nature Reserve, compared to a commercial project which tends to work on different schedules and have different final outcomes and budget. For sure I was quickly able to recommend some fairly immediate works to open up an important area that was becoming over shaded, but the bigger picture is still developing at the site.

If it were me I would just point this out to them and hope they are willing to listen. We all know how harmful it can be for them to blunder in without solid base line survey data and it will help if you offer a very low conservation rate for the works and explain the subtleties involved. Really in the past for us 6 week of survey at a number of reserves revealed very little and it would be all to easy to miss a small population of adder entirely for example, which could be a key species to consider during any future management at the site. It is amazing how after a couple of seasons though one knows the site back to front. 

This doesn't really compare with a commercial development project which will most likely involve some form of capture work and habitat creation from the outset. Much of that is feel and interpreting survey results rather than trying to gain a full picture of the subtleties of the existing habitat which may be lost or very difficult to protect during the project in any case. 

So my considerations for a commercial project would be, number of workers required, size of receptor area, habitat enhancement, capture effort - generally with a considerable budget to achieve more than what is required to maintain the conservation status of the target species in the local area.

My considerations at a nature reserve would be very different indeed and might involve the level of management in very specific areas, general management recommendation and very long-term monitoring of results. It takes considerably more time to develop a full picture of the reptiles needs in this case as it involves a lot of manipulation of what exists at the site rather than a big budget to create habitat.

Just to make it clear, I'm not saying there is any less skill involved in the commercial work, there tends though to be the opportunity to throw a very wide blanket over the work and cover all bases. Working at a nature reserve with perhaps remnant reptile populations in quite low numbers is a whole different ball game though...  .... even very minor management mistakes can have very major effects so one needs a very clear view of the situation and that takes a lot of time to achieve.

Edited by GemmaJF - 31 Aug 2012 at 1:48am
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