Arroyo Seco Improvement Program and On-Call Services

Nomad has been providing biological services for the Arroyo Seco Improvement Program since 2010, which consists of 14 different mitigation sites along a 1-mile stretch of creek Nomad conducts annual mitigation monitoring of the restoration areas of Arroyo Seco within Sandia National Laboratories Property, including annual vegetation and wildlife monitoring. Camera stations are deployed for several months each year to capture images of the general wildlife assemblage and relative abundance of species within restoration and control areas. Relative abundance at each site is measured for each species using the metric of images captured per night effort. Acoustical monitoring equipment is also used to perform bat surveys for several weeks out of the year within the riparian corridor.

Bat calls are analyzed utilizing Sonobat software and manually vetted to ensure accuracy of species identification. The relative abundance of bat species is measured for each species using the metric of detected bat calls per night effort. Wildlife monitoring also includes yearly avian point counts in both natural and developed areas of the creek corridor, as well as periodic nesting bird surveys. Furthermore, the creek is surveyed each year for California red-legged frogs, which are known to occur in the region. In addition to the wildlife monitoring.

Nomad also conducts vegetation monitoring including photo documentation, plant survival and plant growth monitoring, willow stake, native shrub, and grass planting, and spring grass surveys. Annual reports are prepared covering the results of the surveys and providing detailed recommendations for invasive species control, management of irrigation, and increasing habitat suitability and wildlife use of the restoration areas. All work has been performed according to schedule and within the designated budget.

Throughout the project, Nomad works within the constraints of strict access control and security due to the sensitive nature of the site, which requires a rigorous staff authorization process, advance notification and communication with the client, and schedule flexibility. We also regularly deal with equipment battery life and data storage limitations, complexities with data management and analysis, and ensuring that surveys are scheduled at optimal times for wildlife detection while meeting the site’s restoration goals.

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