Why do I need a species specific survey?

Many bird species are not possible to accurately or sufficiently assess using generic breeding bird surveys. Birds listed under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) have additional levels of protection than all other native birds. Schedule 1 birds are also protected from ‘intentional or reckless’ disturbance during the breeding season, as are their nests, eggs and dependent young. In order to disturb these birds, specific licences are required.

Species specific surveys for Schedule 1 species most commonly include Barn Owl Surveys, but may also include surveying for Little Ringed Plover, Kingfishers or Peregrines to name a few.

What does a Barn Owl Survey involve?

Barn owls suffered large declines through the 20th century in Britain, which is thought to be linked to intensive farming practices, removal of habitat for their prey, and persecution. According to the Barn Owl Trust, barn owl populations declined as much as 70% between 1932 and 1985.

Barn owls utilise a variety of roosts and nests, including tree hollows and agricultural buildings, which can make them relatively common ecological issues on sites.

A barn owl survey may involve an initial desk study of the area to obtain records of barn owls in the nearby area. This is followed by a site visit which will assess the availability of roosting or nesting habitat and will also involve searching for feeding remains, pellets, droppings, feathers, nest debris, eggs, or living or dead barn owls.

Are we the right surveyors for you?

Our team contains passionate ornithologists who have decades of experience in surveying for birds in a range habitats and sectors, including conservation work. Our team also includes licensed surveyors who are certified to carry out activities others cannot. Furthermore, UES are experienced at designing mitigation and compensation measures for a variety of Schedule 1 species.