What Is The Role Of An Ecological Consultant?

by | Oct 10, 2023 | Ecology, Environment

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An Ecological consultant typically requires diverse abilities, and a typical day can include completing online background research, interviewing key informants, visiting with communities, performing field surveys or site visits, preparing reports, or giving presentations. Consulting for a client to apply the principles of ecological science to solve problems in social-ecological systems and to make those systems healthier and more resilient is what ecological consulting entails.

Who is an Ecological Consultant?

An ecology consultant conducts surveys and studies to provide recommendations on various environmental issues such as habitat kinds, animal species, and plant species present. Adopting new environmental legislation in the United Kingdom has significantly increased the need for ecological consultants. Each year, the complexity and amount of environmental legislation expand. Several factors influence the completion of ecological consultation work, including seasonal limits, planning circumstances, and funding.

An ecological consultant conducts research and surveys to provide recommendations on ecological issues, such as plans to use a specific area of land that may influence the plant and animal species and habitat types present. They will have specialized expertise in this sector, such as a relevant first degree and, in many cases, a second degree or related background in nature conservation, as well as field experience. The work is highly gratifying, but it can also be rather complicated. Depending on the nature of the work, completion of various tasks may be hampered by multiple factors such as the work budget, planning circumstances, or seasonal limits.

What is the Role of an Ecological Consultant?

Ecological consultant offers a wide range of services to businesses and individuals. A trained ecological consultant can assist wildlife, local governments, and conservation organizations with fundamental research projects. Ecological consultants also assist people and conservation organizations in implementing mitigation and translocation projects such as animal trapping and relocation. Ecological consultants also offer clients professional guidance on various subjects, such as animal legislation and nature conservation. Ecological consultants also carry out routine animal and flora surveys.

What Characteristics Should Be Looked for in an Ecological Consultant?

Ecological consultants who are certified and knowledgeable assist individuals and businesses in reducing their environmental effects. Since ecology specialists work in various fields, such as waste management, air quality, water pollution, and soil contamination, you should always employ consultants tested and reputed for providing cost-effective ecological consultancy services tailored to your requirements. When seeking quality and economic ecology consultation services, you should concentrate on five primary factors.

What Characteristics should be looked for in an Ecological Consultant?

1. Ability to work to your specifications: The primary job of ecological consulting organizations is to sell environmental conservation knowledge to others. Consultancies produce professional and practical end products such as ecological reports and presentations. Skilled and experienced ecological consultants must be able to present clear and well-written ecological essays.

2. Capability to fulfill deadlines: Certified and highly skilled ecology consultants accomplish projects on schedule and within budget. Your chosen ecological consultants must be able to work under pressure and meet deadlines effectively. Experienced ecological consultants must also be able to multitask, organize ahead of time, and manage time effectively.

3. Understanding of current environmental rules: Clients hire ecological consultants to assist them in remaining compliant with the most recent British and European environmental laws and regulations. An ideal ecological consultant should be current on all the latest developments and trends in the British environmental industry.

4. Ability to investigate and analyze data: Ecological consultants can only adequately analyze ecological concerns if they do in-depth research to identify problems and offer appropriate solutions.

5. A set of professional skills: Ecology consultants who are experienced and skilled can provide insight into various topics relevant to their work, such as environmental issues, economic impact, and engineering requirements. Ecology consultants with the expertise above can give you insight into how your site’s ecology factors into various financial and legal considerations.

What Do the Ecological Consultancies Provide?

Ecological consultancies provide various services on a contract basis to enterprises that do not employ specialist people or have insufficient experience. Many of the bigger interdisciplinary consultancies that employ ecologists may also have estate management, arboricultural, forestry, and landscape design specialists. Some consultants have backgrounds in environmental science and will work on issues such as contaminated land and air/water quality. Smaller, more specialized consultancies may concentrate on specific species, such as bats.

  • Field Survey, Monitoring, and Data Collecting – Consultants are frequently hired for routine flora and fauna surveys, data processing, mapping, and monitoring designated locations and proposed development schemes. This is usually done in conjunction with the collection of publicly available data from record centers and other organizations. Initial site visits often describe the ecosystems present and estimate the chances of finding protected species. The Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) Phase 1 Habitat Survey is frequently employed. However, other standard procedures are used for follow-up studies. As their careers evolve, ecologists are urged to specialize in one or more taxonomic groupings while improving general botanical identification skills.
  • Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA) – A significant percentage of consultant work is now dedicated to providing information for Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA). Many projects undergo impact evaluations, frequently tied to the planning process. Projects may involve industrial or building developments and transit plans, and consultants must provide evidence of the potential environmental impact of proposed actions. This information is utilized in various ways by developers, planning departments, conservation organizations, and other stakeholders, but primarily in public inquiries and when considering planning consent for development on a designated site. The consultant hired to do the initial assessment may also devise a plan of steps to mitigate or cancel the negative consequences of new developments. This is referred to as avoidance, mitigation, or compensation. Attendance at planning meetings or giving evidence at a public inquiry may also be required.
  • Advice – Consultants are frequently called upon to provide advice on a great range of ecological issues, such as the type and level of survey work that may be required to meet a specific objective, nature reserve operation (which includes the design and development of strategic plans), the development of habitat or restoration schemes, and wildlife legislation issues. This advice is typically delivered as a report, although it may also be delivered through presentations or meetings. This advice increasingly focuses on protected species such as bats, badgers, and great crested newts. As a result, the expert will frequently prepare a detailed mitigation program.
  • Mitigation and Translocation – Mitigation plans typically include catching and transferring animals and building new homes for them. A special permit is required to do the work if the animal is a vulnerable species. The consultant must assume responsibility for this work’s success and ensure all license criteria are met. Habitats such as diversified grasslands may also be relocated if favorable conditions exist. This employment includes liaising with engineers, creating method statements, and supervising contractors for extended periods on-site.
  • Research – Consultancies for nature conservation agencies, local governments, and wildlife organizations frequently undertake research projects to investigate the success or failure of countryside schemes, monitor or make inventories of important species and habitats, or monitor changes brought about by man-made environmental changes.
  • Business Management – In consultancies, senior staff members develop policies, provide advice, deal with legal and financial issues, engage in efforts to generate new business, and collaborate closely with clients. They also supervise the work of junior employees, assess their training needs, and give the necessary training. Project management is crucial as numerous components, such as finance, health, and safety, must be incorporated into the task. Senior ecologists may be asked to participate in public investigations and must be able to convey facts effectively and accurately.

Consultancies range in size from one or two employees to enormous corporations. Large engineering firms increasingly have ecological sections that can collaborate with both internal engineering teams and on external projects. Some practitioners mix academic work with consulting; some college and university lecturers’ contracts now include a mandate to serve as a consultant. Many of the research institutes’ activities are carried out on a consulting basis, and certain NGOs, such as the Wildlife Trusts, may also have consultants on staff.

Bottom Line

Ecological consultants are responsible for several actions to determine a location’s ecological relevance. These evaluations often apply to submitted projects such as home, commercial, and mining constructions. They could also provide information on the ecological significance of locations to various stakeholders. Evaluations are necessary since there are a variety of legal standards set under state and federal government environmental regulations that must be considered when a work will impact the natural environment. Ecological consultants may create, implement, and evaluate the efficacy of ecological management methods; give professional environmental recommendations in court cases to independent commissions of investigation, legislative groups, urban planning groups, and district council meetings; and provide professional environmental recommendations in district council meetings.

FAQs

Q1. What qualifications do you need to be an ecological consultant?

A degree or postgraduate qualification in environmental science, environmental studies, or environmental sustainability is usually required. You can also take a related course, such as biology or chemistry.

Q2. What qualities distinguish successful ecologists?

To conduct experiments with patience, accuracy, and procedure. Communication abilities could be used to educate the public about animals and conservation areas. The capacity to take accurate notes and create clear, concise reports. Teamwork abilities, as well as the power to manage your job, are required.

Q3. What are the employment opportunities in ecology?

With a degree, these ecologists could lecture at the university level, work as professional environmental consultants for private consulting firms, or become an administrator or senior project managers for government organizations.

Also Read: How To Become A Sustainability Consultant?

 

Author

  • Dr. Tanushree Kain

    Tanushree is a passionate Environmentalist with a Doctorate in Environmental Sciences. She is also a Gold medalist in Master of Science (M.Sc), Environmental Sciences. She has 6 years of experience as a guest faculty in Environmental Sciences. With her combination of technical knowledge and research expertise, she can create clear, accurate, and engaging content that helps users get the maximum information regarding environmental topics.

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