US Fish & Wildlife Service Biological Assessment and Section 7 Consultation
require an analysis to determine whether project activities may affect federally listed endangered or threatened plant or animal species, or a species proposed for listing;
and critical habitat for those species. Federal actions may include projects conducted by federal agencies, federally funded projects as well as approvals issued under
federal regulatory programs such as the Clean Water Act. If the determination is made that the project may affect a species or its habitat, then a request is made to the
US Fish and Wildlife Service for concurrence or to perform consultation to determine the level of action needed to protect the species and/or its habitat for the duration
of the project. The consultation is performed under Section 7 and Section 9 of the Federal Endangered Species Act. This request is presented in a
written report called a Biological Assessment.
The Biological Assessment (BA) includes:
a detailed scientific literature search on the particular species,
detailed species account, mapping of suitable habitat within the project area using GIS and GPS,
information on local populations in the project area through publications, field notes, state natural heritage database, gray literature, state reports and interviews
with regional wildlife biologists,
description of proposed project activities that are planned to occur near habitat for the species,
prediction of potential impacts to species and/or its habitat as a result of performance of the proposed activities
development of a Conservation and Mitigation Plan for the project area.
ASGECI regularly consults with the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and other
resource protection agencies regarding project sites expected to contain areas of endangered and threatened species habitat. ASGECI biologists have extensive
experience performing habitat assessments and visual surveys to determine the presence or absence of endangered or threatened species. ASGECI has prepared Biological
Assessments to address avoidance of potential impacts to listed species.
Once the BA has been accepted, ASGECI works with USFWS, state resource conservation agencies and the project manager to perform monitoring during project activities
to ensure compliance with the Conservation and Mitigation Plan in the
BA for species protection and minimization of impacts to critical habitat.
Similar studies may be required by State agencies for state listed endangered, threatened species and species of special concern.
ASGECI staff has expertise in surveying for and development of protection and management plans for federally and state listed species including plants, invertebrates,
fish, birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals. Our staff has expertise in many federally listed species including Indiana bat, bog turtle, dwarf wedge mussel, piping
plover, sea beach amaranth, swamp pink, small whorled pogonia and Knieskern's beaked rush.
Representative Endangered and Threatened Species projects include:
NJDOT Route 36 Bridge over Shrewsbury River Piping Plover behavior and construction monitoring.
NJDOT Ocean City Longport Bridge Biological Assessment and construction monitoring to protect the federally listed endangered piping plover.
Shawnee Lake Development, Monroe County, PA - bog turtle surveys, Biological Assessment and Habitat Management Plan.
Sea Girt NJ National Guard Training Center- As part of the Integrated Natural Resources Management Plan (INRMP) for the facility, ASGECI provided training and implemented
monitoring a plan for the federally endangered piping plover and federally threatened sea beach amaranth.
Performed analysis of dune vegetation and made recommendations for piping plover habitat enhancement.