Wildlife Biology

Wildlife studies are an important way to characterize the ecological values of a project area.  Inventories of the habitats present, their quality, and the presence and abundance of wildlife species are a key part of land use decisions and land management planning.  Birch Ecology’s team of associates includes a number of experienced, well-respected professional wildlife biologists with a diversity expertise.

Moose (Alces alces) enjoying the willows near Brainard Lake, Colorado. Photo Credit: Jeremy A. Garcia


The Birch Ecology team has considerable experience preparing wildlife studies to document the habitats and use of a project site. We map and describe wildlife habitat conditions based on the plant community composition and structure, land uses, and relationship to the surrounding landscape, then document wildlife species presence and abundance based on field reconnaissance.  GPS units are used to mark key habitat features, then imported into GIS to produce maps and evaluate project impacts.

Black Bear (Ursa americanus). Photo Credit: Jeremy A. Garcia

Small mammal trapping study conducted by Jerry Powell in Loveland, Colorado.


Raptors are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and are on sensitive species lists established by the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Colorado Parks & Wildlife.  We regularly conduct raptor nest surveys to identify active nests.  If present, nest locations are marked with a GPS and imported into GIS.  Using GIS, we produce maps of the nest locations and identify buffer areas in accordance with Colorado Parks & Wildlife’s recommended distances.

Young Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus). Photo Credit: Jeremy A. Garcia


Migratory birds are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA).  Under the MBTA, it is unlawful to harm or destroy migratory birds, their eggs, or their nests.  During the breeding season, nest surveys are required prior to vegetation clearing to ensure MBTA compliance.  Our experienced team of associates has completed hundreds of nest clearance surveys.   These surveys should be conducted within 1-2 weeks of vegetation clearing, if activities are planned during the nesting season.

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) nest near Longmont, Colorado. Photo Credit: Jeremy A. Garcia


Impacts to wildlife species are evaluated as a part of development reviews and for most NEPA compliance investigations.  Our team has considerable experience evaluating the potential impacts to wildlife species and sensitive habitat types, then developing and implementing mitigation measures to reduce those impacts.

Yellow-bellied marmot (Marmota flaviventris). Photo Credit: Jeremy A. Garcia


Enhancing wildlife habitats can improve the conservation values, aesthetics, and ecological functioning of open spaces and natural areas.  We have considerable experience developing plans to enhance and improve wildlife habitats through vegetation management, plantings, and by creating habitat features such as log structures, nest platforms, and gravel spawning areas.  In addition, we work with our clients to incorporate wildlife movement corridors and wildlife-friendly fencing, two important tools for improving wildlife use and habitat connectivity.  For additional discussion of fisheries enhancements, refer to our Stream Restoration page.

Osprey Nest Platform, Loveland, Colorado. Installed by Jerry Powell of Wildlife Specialties LLC


Motion-sensitive camera traps are a valuable tool for documenting wildlife use of open spaces and private properties.  We use camera traps to supplement field reconnaissance surveys and for establishing monitoring programs.

A camera trap captures an American Mink (Neovison vison) near Coot Lake in Boulder County, Colorado. Photo Courtesy of Jerry Powell