Ecological Surveys Ecological Survey

EirEco has the necessary ecological expertise to carry out a wide variety of surveys of habitats, flora and fauna. This includes detailed assessments of terrestrial and freshwater, as well as marine environments. We have undertaken surveys on behalf of local authorities, local environmental groups, universities, engineering firms, and private developers. All survey and mapping services are executed to the appropriate internationally recognized standards and in accordance with scientifically valid methodologies specific to project objectives.

EirEco offers a broad range of ecological surveys in the terrestrial, freshwater or marine environments including:

Please click on any of the links outlined on the left for more detailed descriptions of our Ecological Survey Services.

Habitat Mapping

According to the Heritage Council* a habitat survey is “a method of gathering information about the ecology of a site. The fundamental piece of information collected is the habitat type to which a particular area can be assigned. Habitat types are determined by reference to a system of habitat classification, which must be clearly identified. The location and extent of different habitat types present in a site are mapped to provide a clear spatial record.”

* (“Best Practice Guidance for Habitat Survey and Mapping”, Heritage Council, 2010.)

Habitat Map

Habitat mapping may be required for individual sites, for large scale developments such as roads and Designated sites, or at county-level for local authorities. EirEco follows the Heritage Council Classification (Fossitt, 2000) and ‘Best Practice Guidance for Habitat Survey and Mapping’ (Heritage Council, 2010) in the production of habitat maps and has long-term relationships with a number of experienced associates to provide digital mapping in the required and suitable formats, including ArcGIS, MapInfo, AutoCad, etc. 

Examples of relevant experience…

Project: Sea Cliff Survey (20098)
Client: National Parks and Wildlife Service
Development of a survey methodology for the survey of coastal sea cliff habitats in compliance with the EU Habitats Directive. Carried out in association with MERC Consultants.  

Project: Cavan Wetland Survey (2008)
Client: Cavan County Council
Review and survey of wetland habitat within County Cavan in conjunction with MERC Consultants.  

Project: N17 Tuam to Claremorris
Client: Halcrow Barry / Galway Co. Co. / National Roads Authority
Habitat mapping to Level 3 (Fossitt, 2000) over a 25km stretch of proposed road.

Useful links for Habitat Mapping:

The Heritage Council: A Guide to Habitats in Ireland (Fossitt, 2000)

The Heritage Council: Best Practice Guidance for Habitat Survey and Mapping (based on Fossitt 2000)

The European Commission: The Habitats Directive

Please don’t hesitate to email us for queries and support regarding the above guidelines or to request more details on the EirEco service offering in this area.

Botanical Surveys

Electro FishingThe EirEco team is highly experienced in the execution of botanical surveys including Rare Plant Surveys, Species Inventories and Invasive Alien Species survey and Risk Assessment.  Invasive plant species can result in significant structural damage as well as resulting in a loss of biodiversity and reduction in aesthetic qualities.  Risk Assessment is a basic tool for determining the scale of infestation, the threats and consequences of future spread, and is a crucial step in identifying the most efficient and cost-effective means of control.

Invasive Alien Species: Many of the plants we classify as invasive have evolved to grow in nutrient-poor or highly dynamic environments (such as volcanic slopes) and so have the capacity to survive and indeed thrive in disturbed environments. These and similar characteristics have enabled many invasive species spread along the road network within the country. As invasive species have the potential to significantly impact national biodiversity and road infrastructure, the National Roads Authority has developed specific guidance for the treatment of the predominant species likely to be encountered during the construction and maintenance of national road schemes.

Examples of relevant experience…

Project: The control of invasive species and noxious weeds on National Road Schemes (2009)
Client: National Roads Authority
Author of guidelines detailing methods of avoiding the spread and control of invasive alien species and noxious weeds on national road schemes in Ireland.

Project: Clare Invasive Alien Species Project (2009)
Client: The Heritage Council & Clare County Council
Author of report establishing a baseline of Invasive Alien Species in Co. Clare and developing a draft county level management strategy.

Related Links:

Water Framework Directive Ireland: Guidelines

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): Water Publications and Reports

National Roads Authority: Guidelines for the crossing of watercourses during construction on national road schemes

Please don’t hesitate to email us for queries and support regarding the above or to request more details on the EirEco service offering in this area.

Marine Surveys

Ireland's coastline covers some 7,500 kilometres and contains an enormous diversity of habitats and species. In addition to the very significant role in biodiversity, the island’s coastline and its marine habitats also provide important commercial and amenity functions. As a result many coastal areas are now designated within the Natura 2000 network of European protection sites (SACs & SPAs); these may include estuarine, intertidal, subtidal and offshore habitats listed on Annex I of the EU Habitats Directive (1992).

Dive Survey

EirEco can offer specialised assessment of the impacts of many types of developments in marine and estuarine ecosystems, and has developed  practical experience in methods to minimise and mitigate against negative impacts. In particular EirEco conducts Scuba surveys with mapping of habitats JNCC Marine Habitat Classification (Ref) and Eunice Classification (Ref.) for both Ireland and Britain. We undertake marine invasive alien species surveys and provide risk assessment services.
EirEco also provide Seabird and Marine mammal survey and monitoring for coastal and off-shore operations including acoustic surveys and coastal works. Any development with the potential for influencing the coastal environment has to undergo thorough assessment. Projects that may require marine surveys include:

  • Harbours, jetties, slipways and marinas
  • Waste water treatment plants and discharge licences
  • Coastal zone management and erosion protection projects
  • Scientific surveys and monitoring
  • Coastal and offshore wind and renewable energy developments

Examples of relevant experience…

Project: Corrib Gas Pipeline – inshore and landfall (2009)
Client: Dept. of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources
Monitoring of in shore pipe laying and landfall works to ensure compliance with Environmental Operation Plan.

Project:  Kilrush Marina (2007)
Client: Shannon Development
Assessment of marine ecology within and in the vicinity of Kilrush Marina (within Lower River Shannon cSAC) as part of SAC exclusion on behalf of Shannon Development.

Project:  Baltimore Harbour Extension (2007)
Client: Cronin Millar Consulting Engineers
Ecological assessment of marine ecology at Baltimore Harbour (within Roaringwater Bay cSAC) for proposed pier extension.

Donegal Bay

Project: Blasket Islands Harbour Development Assessment (2002)
Client: Brady Shipman Martin
Dive survey and evaluation of marine habitats in the vicinity of proposed pier locations on Blasket Mór and at Dunquin as part of preliminary options assessment for provision of improved tourist facilities on the Blasket Islands.

Related links:

The Heritage Council: Irish Coastal Habitats

National Parks & Wildlife Service: Code of Practice for the protection of marine mammals during acoustic seabed surveys.

Please don’t hesitate to email us for queries and support regarding the above or to request more details on the EirEco service offering in this area.

Freshwater Surveys

Freshwater habitats are characteristic of Ireland's landscape and are a major national asset in terms of their associated biodiversity, as a fresh water resource, and for a large variety of commercial and recreational activities. The freshwater environments within Ireland are protected within the current recommendations and standards set out by the EU Water Framework Directive and the Irish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Freshwater Lake

EirEco has extensive, expert know-how in conducting a wide range of ecological field assessments in freshwater environments. Across our freshwater services we have significant scientific and professional experience in the completion of studies ranging from one-off biological water quality assessments to protected species surveys, ongoing water quality monitoring and fisheries and freshwater habitat management.
In particular EirEco offers freshwater services in the following areas:

  • Physio-chemical and biological assessment of surface waters
  • Fisheries surveys including electro-fishing and spawning redd counts
  • Lamprey spawning and ammocoete surveys, including salvage
  • Freshwater Crayfish survey and salvage
  • Freshwater Pearl Mussel survey
  • Macrophyte survey
  • Invasive Alien Species survey and risk assessment

Our experienced staff provides professional freshwater consulting services across a variety of sectors covering abstraction, aquaculture, recreation, pipelines, forestry, agriculture, etc.

Examples of relevant experience…

Project: N5 Westport to Bohola (2010)
Client: Roughan O’Donovan / Mayo Co.Co. / NRA
Survey and assessment of all watercourse crossings along the proposed national road upgrade between Westport and Bohola in Co. Mayo. Undertaken in association with Stillwaters Consultants.

Project: Strabane Footbridges (2008)
Client: Roughan O’Donovan Engineers
Freshwater and terrestrial survey of River Mourne (part of the River Foyle and tributaries cSAC) as art of environmental assessment for two proposed footbridges.  Assessment aimed at determining the presence of or suitability for qualifying species and habitats, fisheries value and assessment of potential impacts including proposed mitigation requirements. 

River Vartry

Project: Lough Derg Private Marina (2007)
Client: Brady Shipman Martin
Assessment of ecological impact of private marina on Lough Derg pNHA and SPA for submission of retention application to local authority.  

Project: River Shannon Instream Monitoring Programme (2007/8/10)
Client: University of Limerick
Assessment of instream habitat as part of on-going monitoring programme following development of River Shannon Pedestrian and Vehicular Bridges, and instream fisheries enhancement measures (within Lower River Shannon candidate Special Area of Conservation).

Related Links:

Water Framework Directive Ireland

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): Water Guidelines

National Roads Authority Guidelines for the crossing of watercourses during construction on national road schemes

Please don’t hesitate to email us for queries on the above or to request more details on the EirEco service offering in this area.

Contact Us

EirEco Environmental Consultants

+353 (0) 65 708 9080

Mobile (Cell):
+353 (0) 86 827 7595

Click to email us