Herpetofauna surveys

High Conservation Value Assessments

Herpetofauna assessments

The aims of the herpetofauna assessment include the following:

– To identify and list all reptiles, and amphibians such as frogs that can possibly be present within the proposed area of development (transmission lines and sub stations);
– To identify any rare and endangered mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians species that can potentially be present within the proposed area of development;
– To identify the potential impacts and mitigation measures on the animal life due to the destruction of habitat that will take place as a result of the construction activities.
– The desktop study of the animal life involved investigating the occurrence of different species of frogs (amphibians) and reptiles, using field guides, Red Data Books and text books.

The results of a desktop study of all the reptiles and amphibians of the proposed area will be used to compiled a vegetation and animal report and will include an introduction, methodology applied to conduct the scoping, species lists of all the animals that may possibly be present within the proposed area of development and will include all mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles, as well as all rare and endangered species that can possibly be present within the proposed transmission line servitude.

Field surveys will be conducted concurrently with vegetation surveys and all animals observed in the area will be noted. Any ecological indicators, such as calls, tracks and dung will also be noted and regarded as the presence of that particular animal. Detailed herpetofauna lists will be generated and discussed and related back to the floristic component of the area. The probability of occurrence for species not observed during field surveys will be updated if applicable regarding available habitats. Protected and endemic species will be the focus of discussion. Diurnal and nocturnal surveys will be performed. The number of sample plots will vary for each component of the herpetofaunal survey.

The current status of the herpetofaunal environment will be determined and an evaluation of the extent of site-related effects in terms of certain ecological indicators, as well as identification of specific important ecological attributes such as rare and endangered species, protected species, sensitive species and endemic species will be made. The herpetofaunal environment and habitat will be characterised in relation to biota and the extent of site related effects. Presence of red data and protected species will be indicated on a map.