What Should Trigger a Specialist Assessment?
Within an environmental impact assessment (EIA) there may be situations that will have impacts on bats beyond the general destruction of the environment. Impacts on roosting sites (especially the vitally important maternity caves), foraging areas, and migration routes are of particular concern.
The following activities should trigger at least a scoping study by a bat specialist:
- Any wind energy development
- Any disturbance or destruction of cave-type roosts, abandoned or defunct mines or underground structures and/ or natural cave systems. Important: Since roosts are often seasonal it is important to ensure that surveys are done for past bat occupation (the presence of guano, staining on walls, bat skeletons) as well as current occupation.
- Disturbance within 500 m of above. Please note: this is a minimum distance and the specialist may need to assess a bigger area, depending on the size of the roost and the type of the development. Please refer to Sowler et al. 2017 for more information on roost buffers for wind energy development.
- Clearing of indigenous forest (of any size), any large fruiting trees (greater than 5m in height) and felling of exotic trees/ plantations greater than 1 ha in extent.
- Any destruction of buildings
- Any disturbance or destruction of natural rocky outcrops
- Any disturbance or destruction of wetlands
- Any disturbance or destruction of rivers and/ or within 200 m of the riparian edge of rivers
- Any disturbance or development of updraft areas along ridges
- Any disturbance or development of irrigated agriculture areas