Biological surveys are conducted to ensure activity in a given area does not adversely impact native flora and fauna. Surveys for the presence of sensitive and endangered species are often required prior to beginning work on federally managed lands. Inter-agency coordination is critical for biological surveys, as much of the land in Nevada is managed by a variety of federal agencies. Species may be listed as threatened or endangered at the state level as well as the federal level, and entities working on publicly managed lands must be aware of these designations. Identification of the presence of threatened or endangered species allows organizations and agencies to implement mitigation measures to minimize adverse impacts and protect native species.
BEC works under the direction of federal and state agencies performing biological surveys on federally managed lands in accordance with the Endangered Species Act as amended, state environmental regulations, and agency protocols. BEC conducts presence-absence, mine closure, and quality assurance surveys for listed and sensitive fauna including Mojave desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) and Gila monster (Heloderma suspectum), and listed and sensitive flora including halfring milkvetch (Astragalus mohavensis var. hemigyrus), Clokey milkvetch (Astragalus aequalis), and both subspecies of twotone beardtongue (Penstemon bicolor ssp. bicolor and ssp. roseus). Survey activities include identification, documentation, and mapping. BEC maps habitat, dominant flora and fauna, and sensitive species within a project area.