Work Window

To minimize effects to nesting gnatcatchers, all clearing of vegetation in occupied or identified gnatcatcher suitable habitat will occur outside the breeding season (February 15 through August 30). If the breeding season cannot be avoided, a USFWS-Approved Biologist will conduct preconstruction nesting bird surveys prior to vegetation removal. If no active gnatcatcher nests are found within a 300-foot disturbance buffer distance between noisegenerating project activities and gnatcatcher nests, project activities may proceed. Noise buffer distances may be modified in coordination with the USFWS Field Office based on project specific characteristics or a Project Proponent/Action Agency may choose to submit their own analysis and buffer recommendations for USFWS consideration. If sufficient buffers cannot be implemented, the proposed activities may lead to adverse effects, not to exceed the self-imposed take limit of injury or mortality up to one nest annually and harm to no more than two individual coastal California gnatcatchers annually. Mortality to a nest would include disturbance to an active nest with egg(s) or chick(s) in the nest or if fledglings are still dependent on the nest for survival. The self-imposed take limit also requires no net loss of habitat through the protection measures and/or offsetting impacts with habitat restoration or enhancement.