On-the-ground support

Our extensive field experience and expertise in cutting-edge survey methods in Africa, Asia and Latin America, means we are uniquely placed to assist you in developing best practice field programs and in managing risks to key species

We work across Africa, Asia and Latin America helping clients to develop field programs that align with international best-practice (e.g. IFC PS6) by designing, managing and implementing surveys using the best available and cutting edge methods to manage Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (BES) risks at all stages of a project. We speak from experience – our consultants have joined the team because of a love of the wild, with substantial fieldwork experience in both marine and terrestrial environments.

We regularly assist clients with biodiversity data collection. Recently, this has included: prioritising, designing and supervising baseline data collection for a combined mine and infrastructure project in Guinea; designing, managing and conducting targeted surveys for biodiversity action plan development for a major hydropower project in Sierra Leone; and designing and managing targeted vulture surveys for loss/gain assessment for a wind power project in Kenya.

Primates and birds pose particular risks to projects and are core strengths for the team.

Primates – specialist project support

TBC regularly manages risks to primates for projects in the mining, renewable energy and oil and gas sectors in Africa. We use innovative techniques to survey chimpanzees, develop Primate Action Plans and recently implemented the first offset for chimpanzees (see our briefing note on chimpanzees and best practice for industry for succinct guidance on what makes chimpanzees special when it comes to development projects). We can help you to:

  • Design field surveys: using methods such as transects, recces, camera trapping and non-invasive genetic surveys.
  • Manage experts: including selecting appropriate specialists to undertake surveys, develop ToR, support field staff in keeping deadlines and reporting correctly.
  • Organise and conduct field surveys
  • Analyse data and write reports: ensuring the results from the data collected informs mitigation and offset planning, and/or the development of action plans.

TBC world-class, in-house primatologists have significant field experience in Africa and Asia. Other members of the team are experienced in primate-related projects risks – and we draw on an extensive network of species and landscape expert Associates and contacts. Our in-house experts are:

  • Malcolm Starkey (Chief Technical Officer) is a specialist in protected area management and management planning. He has over fifteen years of experience designing and implementing field-based conservation in Africa and has worked at site, landscape and national scales. He has managed many TBC projects in Africa that dealt with risks to great apes and their habitats.
  • Guy Williams (Senior Principal Consultant) main fieldwork and working experience is in Australia and Asia-Pacific, including Myanmar, Vietnam, China, Cambodia, Lao, Thailand, Philippines, and Papua New Guinea. His sector experience includes infrastructure (transport, power, and property), mining (quarry, open cut and artisanal), oil and gas, and agro-forestry (sugar, oil palm, coffee, timber). In addition to TBC projects, Guy is currently working on a field guide for the Primates of Indo-China and serves as a commission member for the IUCN – Commission for Ecosystem Management and Species Survival Commission. Guy maintains an ongoing research interest in modelling habitat use in primates and community lead forest conservation.
  • Suzanne Livingstone (Senior Principal Consultant) is an ecologist with extensive expertise in mining projects in West Africa. She specialises in Critical Habitat assessment, biodiversity risk profiling, baseline survey design and management, as well as offset design and implementation. Suzanne has provided support to several projects in West Africa to effectively manage issues relating to chimpanzees.
  • Adeline Serckx (Principal Consultant) is a bio-engineer with extensive experience in primate conservation. She has spent significant time in the Democratic Republic of Congo for her PhD research on Bonobos. Adeline’s expertise includes developing and conducting primate and large mammal surveys and monitoring programmes (using different survey techniques such as recces, transects, non-invasive genetic sample collection, interviews), developing action plans and assessing project’s residual impacts. She is also experienced in using indirect techniques for studying primate feeding ecology (e.g. faeces analysis and DNA metabarcoding). Her TBC projects cover ranges for great apes and other endangered primates in Sierra Leone, Gabon and the Republic of Congo.
  • Simon Furnell (Consultant) – is a primatologist with experience in wildlife conservation and protected area management and creation. While studying for his PhD he spent time in Madagascar conducting research on Verreaux’s Sifaka (Propithecus verreauxi) and he has worked in Liberia and Ivory Coast on chimpanzee conservation. His experience includes planning and implementing large mammal surveys, monitoring programs, strategic protected area patrols (using SMART software) and demographic/socioeconomic surveys. Simon was also heavily involved in the creation of the Grebo-Krahn National Park and contributed to the ongoing work towards the creation of the Proposed Krahn-Bassa Protected Area, both in Liberia.

Birds – specialist project support
TBC expertly manages risks to avian species across projects in the renewable energy and mining sectors in Africa, Asia and the Americas. We use industry best-practices plus innovative techniques to survey and monitor avian species and assess residual impacts. We recently implemented one of the first PS6-aligned offsets for avian species. We can assist you to:

  • Design field surveys: using techniques such as Vantage Point surveys, nest surveys, satellite tracking, mortality estimates and correction factors.
  • Organise and conduct field surveys: including options to undertake fieldwork directly, partnering with local experts or managing local experts remotely.
  • Analyse data: to determine passage rates, model collision risks, assess residual impact and develop offsets.
  • Report: using results to inform mitigation and offset planning and develop action plans.

Our in-house ornithologists have global field experience (especially Africa, Asia and Oceania) and experience managing projects with risk to avian species:

  • Leon Bennun (Chief Scientist):Leon is a tropical ornithologist by training with extensive field experience, especially in East Africa. For more than a decade Leon headed the National Museums of Kenya’s Ornithology Department where he initiated national waterbird monitoring, training in bird ringing and citizen-science bird record projects; led wide-ranging surveys for the directory of Important Bird Areas of Kenya; and supervised many post-graduate research projects. He also taught and supervised in ornithology and conservation biology on the Tropical Biology Association’s annual graduate field courses in Uganda and Kenya. Leon worked with the national BirdLife Partner, Nature Kenya, to develop community conservation approaches at threatened Important Bird Areas countrywide. For 12 years Leon led BirdLife International’s science and policy programme, working on applied research and conservation with Partner NGOs in countries around the world. Recently he has been closely involved in design and on-ground implementation of survey, mitigation and offset actions for wind energy projects in Kenya.
  • Guy Dutson (Senior Principal Consultant): Guy wrote the definitive guide to the Birds of Melanesia, co-authored the Action Plan for Australian Birds, worked for ten years for BirdLife International in the UK, Australia and Pacific islands, and has 30 years of field experience in south-east Asia, Australasia and the Pacific Islands.
  • David Wilson (Principal Consultant) has 15 years’ experience in biodiversity management, specialising in ornithology and terrestrial conservation including extended periods of bird-focused fieldwork in Kenya, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, Ecuador, Australia, Japan and Antarctica. Recently, David has led vulture monitoring and nest surveys in Kenya to assess potential impacts from a proposed wind farm to assist the project to align with PS6. Previously, David started Mongolia’s first bird ringing station, where he provided training to university students in ringing and identification techniques, led regional surveys for penguins in Antarctica, assessed parrot impacts to corn crops in Ecuador and researched the mating behaviour of Australian bowerbirds. David continues private research on Australian snipe ecology and migration, and is a member of the IUCN Woodcock and Snipe Specialist Group.