When are the best times of year to carry out wildlife surveys?

The best times to carry out wildlife surveys vary from species to species. It’s not always clear cut, but generally the following list provides a good overview. Bearing this in mind, please try and give us as much notice as possible if you think you might need a survey carrying out for a particular species.

  • Badgers
    Badgers surveys can be carried out all year, although the best time is early spring (February to April) when the animals’ territorial activity is at its peak and vegetation cover low.
  • Bats
    Hibernation and tree roost surveys can be carried out between November and March, with activity surveys, summer roosts and emergence surveys taking place between May and September
  • Breeding birds
    Breeding bird surveys can be carried out roughly between March and the end of June
  • Great crested newts
    Pond and terrestrial surveys can be carried out from March to July, with larval surveys between July and the end of August
  • Reptiles
    Peak months are April, May and September
  • Otters
    Can take place all year, though water levels and vegetation cover can be a factor
  • Water voles
    Can take place all year, though water levels and vegetation cover can be a factor
  • White-clawed crayfish
    Surveys take place at night between April and October
  • Wintering birds
    Between December and February, during daylight hours

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