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Brookes Centre for Ecology, Environment and Conservation has developed an iPad Toolkit for ecologists and environmental consultants, which enables users to efficiently conduct Phase One ecological surveys.
The toolkit enables users to conduct Phase 1 Habitat Survey, which involves habitat mapping and collecting ancillary data reliably and efficiently. Such surveys are part of the planning and development process and are one the most fundamental parts of the ecological assessment process.
The new toolkit removes the need for surveyors to make notes with paper and pencil in the field before translating them onto digital maps when they return to their offices. They can create fully colour coded, spatially referenced habitat maps on the spot, and include valuable information on the species present in the area.
The toolkit which has been developed with the support of funding from the Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF) will aid the initial assessment of the value of habitats undertaken by consultants, wildlife organisations, local authorities and others across the UK. Maps, data, photographs and notes from the Toolkit can be exported with minimal need for post surveying data collation or editing. The Toolkit also includes detailed information including photo references, distribution maps and ecology on more than 900 key UK species including plants, birds, mammals and insects.
Members of CEEC have also promoted the toolkit to the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management via a demonstration and discussion event at a recent conference and have generated interest from wildlife charities and environmental organisations as well as ecological consultancies.
Prof Tim Shreeve said: "We are very pleased with the response to the project and optimistic about its future. We hope that our Toolkit will make a valuable contribution to improving habitat assessment across the UK and will provide ecologists with a robust tool to support their work."
Software Developer: Rowan Jones
Project Manager: James Watkins
Project Officers: Michael Jackson, Dr. Rien De Keyser
CEEC Director: Prof. Tim Shreeve
Particular thanks to: Dr. Rebecca Harker, Cyrus Mower, Pete Andrew, Greg Crichton
We are very grateful to the following organisations for their support and provision of data.