APM applies consistent standards of survey work for all surveys; no matter how large or small. Following discussions with the Client regarding the objectives of the survey, the survey scope, intensity and duration is refined to provide the precise information required to enable State and Federal decision makers to make an informed decision on the potential impacts of the project. Time permitting, the survey scope is then discussed and endorsed by the Environmental Management Branch of the Department of Environment Regulation / Department of Parks and Wildlife.
All discussions with the Client are undertaken with the emphasis placed on survey timing as the season and conditions under which the surveys are undertaken can ultimately determine their utility and applicability in the approvals process. Botanical surveys not undertaken at an appropriate time can cause project delays of up to nine months.
Desktop assessments first determine whether any Declared Rare Flora (DRF), Priority Flora, Threatened Ecological Communities (TECs) or Priority Ecological Communities (PECs) are likely to be present at the site. The outcomes of the desktop assessment determine the design and execution of the field survey. Methodologies for quadrat based sampling vary from region to region, so the most appropriate method is always selected on a project-by-project basis.
Quadrat based field surveys and detailed site assessments then form the basis for species inventories and vegetation or floristic community mapping. Vegetation condition is also assessed and mapped whilst in the field.
Grid searches for DRF and Priority flora are also undertaken, where appropriate, to enable the extent and distribution of flora of conservation significance to be determined as a means to quantifying the potential impacts of a proposal. The location of flora species of conservation significance can be recorded by GPS and subsequently mapped to enable future management.
Survey results are then interpreted in the context of the proposed potential impacts to the receiving environment. Reports can be presented as Environmental Impact Assessments or Environmental Management Plans.