Habitat Assessment

A habitat assessment will be conducted by a Qualified Biologist to determine whether the project area contains suitable habitat (including foraging, nesting, and dispersal) for the least Bell’s vireo. If suitable habitat for these species is identified in the project area and the proposed project may affect suitable habitat that is not known to be occupied by the least Bell’s vireo, the appropriate USFWS Field Office will be contacted for technical assistance prior to submitting an ESA Section 7(a)(2) Review Form regarding the need for surveys according to USFWS protocols (USFWS 2001); and those surveys will be conducted, as appropriate. Alternatively, the Project Proponent may choose to implement the following avoidance measures for these species, based on the presence of suitable habitat, without conducting protocol surveys to confirm presence or absence.