GIS Breeding Bird Protection


GIS is used in conjunction with most of the work that we undertake here at Nevis Environmental. We have our own in house specialtists that work to constantly improve how we collect, analyse and display data. 

The Issue

During the summer our surveyors are frequently out collecting data on breeding birds.  To provide the best service for our clients, Nevis needs to process these data points quickly and present them in an easily understandable format. It is crucial to be both efficient and accurate so our clients can avoid areas where protected bird species are breeding, and thereby minimise any unintended disturbance that may adversely affect the outcome of the breeding attempt.  Our ornithologists are highly trained and understand the nuance of bird behaviour, how this relates to the stage of breeding and how even a minor increase in human activity in the area could stop the birds successfully rearing young.  Our clients need results that will quickly and clearly show them what we need them to do, or not do, in order to maximise the chances for the breeding pair.

The Solution

We found this method of display extremely useful and very visual as it allowed us to easily assess the mitigation measures in place.

We use a risk map with a traffic light system and exclusion zones. This allows our client to easily see which areas to completely avoid, with red being highly sensitive, through orange to green being less sensitive.  This is achieved through a computer based algorithm that assesses the risk of each grid square weighted by the activity of the protected bird species. Our centralised database is automated to run a program on data entry and then calculate risk based on these criteria, thus speeding up the process. Additional analysis is made in our GIS system though a bespoke function that creates the risk map and exclusion zones quickly and efficiently.  The output maps simply require a click of button to prepare; saving us time and our clients’ money.  The result can be instantly issued to the client, providing them the most up to date information and giving them the confidence that they are adhering to their statutory obligations.