Resume Ecology (Wildlife) Surveys

When the increased pressure on emergency services has reduced to a safe level, ecology fieldwork outdoors in wild places could resume safely.

By ensuring social distancing between surveyors, and following other protocols advised by Scottish Government, NHS, and the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM), it should be possible to resume ecology fieldwork safely.

Why the contribution is important

The lockdown restrictions in Scotland have meant that all ecology (wildlife) surveys have stopped except for projects deemed essential by Scottish Government (eg those associated with hospitals).

This was important to help reduce disease transmission, but given the remote nature of the work more so perhaps for general safety - with increased pressure on emergency services due to Covid-19 response times could be delayed and what would normally have been a minor injury at a remote location could have become major or result in exposure.

As the pressure on emergency services eases, ecology fieldwork may continue safely with appropriate precautions. (Work is generally in more remote areas with two people working together who could easily follow social distancing precautions.) This would mean ecological consultants, those working with conservation NGOs, and various government bodies may resume work.

Most projects will now have a gap in data due to the lockdown. If ecology surveys can resume safely the data gap can be minimised. This is important for development projects, monitoring of operational projects (eg wind farms), protected species monitoring.

by SpiderSorcerer on May 05, 2020 at 11:10PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.9
Based on: 32 votes


  • Posted by zuzan May 06, 2020 at 14:06

    I would also support the evidence collection for Habitat monitoring and Wildlife Crime
  • Posted by SpiderSorcerer May 06, 2020 at 15:02

    Absolutely zuzan. And ecology surveys are needed in order to ensure compliance with environmental legislation and that various targets are being met. I think they need to recommence as soon as it is safe to do so - when pressure on emergency services has eased.
  • Posted by drwill May 07, 2020 at 10:17

    It is imperative that wildlife surveys resume asap. Just as the NHS are key workers at present, Nature is the Key Worker constantly in the process of human existence. Nature is the reason why we are all here - and underpins the quality of life and living it. Never has there been a more important time to study nature and how it has been effected by the Covid-19 lockdown - indeed it is possible that we will never have this opportunity again to undertake such a study. It should widespread, complete and all encompassing. If we do not register accurately the (so far registered by the media) positive impact on nature - and a thus for all of us as humans - at this crucial and opportunistic time, we will lose that opportunity. If and as life returns to pre-Covid normal (as it surely will, and very quickly, the pollution levels rise and humans go back to disregarding and damaging nature thoughtlessly and perhaps beyond repair, the advantages of the Covid lock down will be lost forever and thus any advantage for the health and well-being of future generations will be lost - all due to the overriding concern of profit and the arrogance, ignorance and complacency towards nature that it fosters and the detriment of us all. The time is now, or any gains and recording of them will be lost forever. Let's all learn from this period of breathing fresher and healthier air and put in place measure for it to continue and be sustained in the future.
  • Posted by Strathearn May 07, 2020 at 18:09

    Agree with the proposals and comments.

    I would add in other outdoor work, such as tree planting, coppicing, hedge laying and similar rural activities, whether done commercially, as a hobby or by volunteers. These and other countryside activities can be done with appropriate social distancing.
  • Posted by IanF May 08, 2020 at 18:18

    This is essential. We need to be able to continually monitor environmental and wildlife change to help tackle Scotland's agreed targets to deal with the biodiversity and climate emergencies. Many outdoor working activities can and should be pursued safely in the countryside. Access to open countryside is necessary to do this and we can do this while socially distancing and adopting safe practices. It should be permitted to drive a reasonable distance to do this if safe parking is possible. If suitable behaviour is followed, contact between those doing this and local residents can be minimised - far less risky than any kind of shopping, for instance.
  • Posted by ABB May 09, 2020 at 11:57

    I agree that it is essential to be able to continually monitor environmental and wildlife change to help tackle Scotland's agreed targets to deal with the biodiversity and climate emergencies. Much of ecological survey work can be accomplished with appropriate travel arrangements and social distancing.
  • Posted by AndreaHudspeth May 10, 2020 at 14:56

    I agree that wildlife surveys should be allowed to resume if all recommend precautions are followed.

    There is a large group of us who are self-employed, sole trader ecologists who often complete small projects on their own, in rural areas, without meeting with members of the public. Projects that require more than one ecologist should still be able to go ahead if the ecologists travel to sites in their own vehicles and observe social distancing during their survey activities.

    I, like many, have fallen through the gaps of government support available and need to get back to work.
  • Posted by sandragdavison May 11, 2020 at 07:29

    Really critical. If we allow ongoing monitoring to have a gap we are really saying that monitoring is not important. Surely, with the current lockdown environment, monitoring in order to understand any impacts on nature, is key to understanding, and proving, the impact of humans and our activity on nature. If we can’t make ongoing monitoring safe, we are really saying it doesn’t matter.
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