Ecological Assessments
& Surveys

Terratree consultants have been involved in the design and implementation of ecological assessments throughout Western Australia

By understanding the biodiversity values present in an area and the regulatory requirements for assessing potential impacts on these values, Terratree can provide guidance about the most appropriate surveys to undertake to facilitate environmental impact assessment and management planning.

We provide clear advice about survey timing, regulatory expectations, approval time frames and cost.

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Our services

Terratree provides the following ecological assessments to clients located throughout Western Australia.

Flora and Vegetation Surveys

Wetland Assessments

Phytophthora Dieback Assessments

Rehabilitation Monitoring

Rehabilitation Auditing for Exploration Projects

Noxious and Non-native Weed Mapping and Monitoring

Terratree carried out comprehensive flora, vegetation and Phytophthora Dieback surveys of the Shire’s priority natural reserves, delivering invaluable guidance for future conservation and rehabilitation management. Joe and his team provided a high level of expertise, dedication and professionalism, surpassing our expectations with their exceptional work.

Tracey Bell
Environmental Officer, Shire of Mundaring (May 2023)

Terratree’s flora and vegetation surveys are conducted in accordance with the requirements of Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 (WA), and include, Reconnaissance, Targeted and Detailed Surveys in accordance with Environmental Protection Authority 2016, Technical Guidance – Flora and Vegetation Surveys for Environmental Impact Assessment, EPA, Western Australia.

    Reconnaissance Surveys

    A reconnaissance survey is a preliminary survey conducted to gather broad information and provide context about a survey area.

    It is required in cases where potential impacts are not likely to be significant, and the area is not expected to support significant flora or vegetation.

    The survey may indicate whether a more detailed survey is required. The survey involves low-intensity sampling of flora and vegetation by an experienced botanist to determine the general characteristics and condition of the vegetation.

    If significant flora or vegetation is located or considered likely to be present, a targeted or detailed survey may be necessary.


    Targeted Surveys

    A targeted survey aims to provide comprehensive information on significant flora and/or vegetation in a survey area, identifying the size and extent of significant populations and placing any impacts into context.

    Site visits by experienced botanists are required to locate and record details of significant flora individuals and populations, and/or extent of vegetation.

    The results of a targeted survey may indicate if a proposal is likely to have an impact on significant flora or vegetation, requiring further targeted surveys to further quantify and provide context for local or regional impacts. Sufficient resources should be allocated for field time to undertake the survey.

    Detailed Surveys

    A detailed survey is necessary when the desktop study identifies a high diversity of flora or vegetation, restricted landforms or vegetation units, significant flora or vegetation, minimal survey effort in the region or when the potential impacts are significant.

    It requires comprehensive survey design and multiple sampling events to adequately address the EPA’s objectives for Flora and Vegetation.

    Multiple quadrats are used at representative points throughout each preliminary vegetation type to clarify vegetation unit boundaries.

    If there is adequate local and regional context, the survey can be carried out within the proposal area, otherwise, it is necessary to survey beyond the proposal area.

    GreenPrint Solutions has worked with Terratree Environmental Consultants on the greenfield Firebird Metals Manganese Proposal in the Pilbara Region of Western Australia.

    Terratree completed baseline and targeted flora and vegetation surveys within and outside of the Proposal area. During the survey’s a number of challenges were faced by Terratree, including inclement weather that made access into survey areas difficult. Whilst ensuring the highest level of safety, Terratree devised a strategy to enable the survey to be completed.

    Terratree also identified a complex taxonomic issue during the surveys and have worked collaboratively with WA Herbarium experts to resolve this matter.

    GreenPrint Solutions would highly recommend Terratree services to prospective clients.

    Susanna Beech
    GreenPrint Solutions (June 2023)

    Wetland Assessments

    In Western Australia, any land-use project that has the potential to affect a wetland necessitates a mandatory wetland assessment in compliance with the Western Australian Planning Commission’s State Planning Policy 2.10: Wetlands Policy.

    The assessment must adhere to the guidelines provided by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER). Our team of expert wetland ecologists possesses the necessary expertise to conduct comprehensive wetland assessments.

    These assessments evaluate the ecological significance and conservation value of wetlands, including their associated flora and fauna, and identify potential risks to the wetland.

    Additionally, we develop appropriate management measures to mitigate any risks to the wetland.

    Our wetland assessments are customised according to requirements and include:

    • Wetland mapping
    • Wetland classification reviews
    • Wetland flora and vegetation surveys
    • Wetland condition assessment monitoring
    • Wetland Restoration and Management
    • Planning
    • Regulatory Liaison

    Phytophthora Dieback Assessments

    With three Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) Registered Dieback Interpreters on staff, Terratree specialises in Phytophthora Dieback mapping and management.

    Our skills in mapping and managing Dieback can also be applied to weed and hygiene management.

    Terratree offers the following services in the area of Phytophthora Dieback mapping and management:

    • Dieback Interpretation and Mapping
    • Dieback Risk Assessments
    • Dieback Management Planning
    • Green Card Training

    ‘Phytophthora Dieback is Australia’s second most serious invasive species threat to conservation’ DCCEEW, 2021 State of the Environment Report .

    Phytophthora Dieback (or Dieback) is a disease caused by the introduced soil-borne pathogen Phytophthora cinnamomi and other Phytophthora species.

    While some plant species are resistant, others are susceptible to the disease caused by the pathogen, which can result in chlorosis, dieback and usually death (Wills and Keighery 1994). The pathogen has a range of hosts in Southwest WA, predominantly from the Ericaceae, Fabaceae, Myrtaceae, Proteaceae, and Xanthorrhoeaceae plant families.

    Dieback has a significant effect in WA for the following reasons:

    • 40 percent of native plant species in Southwest WA (over 2,200 species), including almost half the endangered species, are susceptible to the pathogen (Shearer et al. 2004). This includes 49 percent of WA’s threatened flora (EPA 2007).
    • Changes in the composition and structure of vegetation communities resulting from the spread of Dieback have flow-on impacts throughout the ecosystem, including habitat alteration negatively affecting indigenous fauna populations.
    • Dieback can lead to significant soil erosion through the loss of susceptible vegetation.
    Zoospore cysts

    Zoospore-cysts of Phytophthora cinnamomi amassed on a plant root. (Scanning electron micrograph: Professor A. Hardham, The Australian National University, Canberra, A.C.T.)

    Rehabilitation Monitoring

    Terratree understands the importance of appropriate rehabilitation monitoring to determine success in achieving agreed completion criteria.

    The aim of effective mine site rehabilitation is to achieve a stable and ecologically functioning landscape.

    Rehabilitation monitoring is undertaken systematically, using repeatable quantitative assessment methods that accurately measure revegetation success against completion criteria.

    Terratree applies monitoring techniques including Landscape Function Analysis, line or point-intercept along transects and quadrats to measure percentage cover and species diversity.

    Rehabilitation Auditing for Exploration Programs

    Our auditing services cover all aspects of exploration programs, including drill holes, rubbish removal, and site rehabilitation.

    We ensure that drill holes are appropriately plugged to prevent loss of fauna and meet. regulatory requirements.

    We also inspect exploration sites to ensure that all waste materials have been removed and disposed of appropriately.

    In addition, our auditing services include a comprehensive assessment of areas disturbed as a result of exploration activities including pads, sumps, and costeans to ensure that all necessary rehabilitation measures have been implemented.

    Noxious and Non-native Weed Mapping and Monitoring

    Terratree specialises in providing the expertise and comprehensive solutions required for the effective mapping and monitoring of both noxious and non-native weeds.

    Weeds, which can be native or non-native, are plants that grow in unwanted areas and have discernible environmental or economic impacts. The State of the Environment Report (EPA 2007) identifies over 300 weed species in the Southwest bioregion.

    These weeds can have devastating effects on native flora and fauna, including altering the composition and structure of native vegetation, reducing biodiversity, and increasing the risk of more intense bushfires.

    We understand the importance of effectively managing these issues and are dedicated to assisting our clients in maintaining an environment free of noxious and non-native weeds.’

    Watsonia (Watsonia meriana var. bulbillifera)

    The management of weeds primarily involves legislation and strategies outlined by the following: the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management (BAM) Act 2007 (WA), the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Regulations 2013, the Environmental Weed Strategy for Western Australia (CALM 1999), and the Australian Weeds Strategy (AWS) 2017–2027 (IPAC 2016).

    Non native weed mapping

    Narrow leaf cotton bush (Gomphocarpus fruticosus)

    Terratree specialises in comprehensive weed mapping and monitoring services, encompassing the identification of both noxious and non-native weeds. Our approach follows the protocols outlined in The Department of Parks and Wildlife’s ‘Weed Prioritisation Process.’ This process ranks environmental weed species based on factors such as invasiveness, ecological impacts, potential and current distribution, and control feasibility within each DPaW region of the state (DPaW 2013). By adhering to these protocols, we ensure accurate and effective weed management.

    Our team possesses the expertise to identify Weeds of National Significance (WoNS) and Declared Plants. Weeds of National Significance (WoNS) are plants singled out by the Australian Government due to their invasiveness, impact characteristics, potential and current spread, as well as their primary industry, environmental, and socio-economic implications. Effective management of WoNS is the responsibility of landowners and land managers at all levels.

    Many of these Weeds of National Significance (WoNS) are also classified as Declared pests under the BAM Act 2007 (DAFWA 2007). The BAM Act aims to prevent the entry and establishment of serious animal and plant pests and diseases in the State, as well as minimise the spread and impact of those already present. A Declared Plant refers to a weed declared as a Declared Pest under Section 22 of the BAM Act. When a plant is declared, landholders are obligated to control it on their property.

    Contact us for a free consultation

    Contact us for a no-obligation, free assessment of your company or organisation’s ecological assessment and environmental approvals requirements.