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ECOS Application Help

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Purpose and Description

This page is the starting point and summary screen for entering Take data from a biological opinion Incidental Take Statement (ITS). You will be returned to this screen each time you save Take edits. 

You are expected to enter information for only the take that is reasonably likely to occur and can be reasonably supported by your incidental take statement. Editing Bull Trout Effects-Take to include Take data that is not represented by your incidental take statement would render the reports that included the data set indefensible.

Editing Take

To enter Take data, click on the Take tab under the Bull Trout Effect/Take header. This will take you to the Take summary page, which has a similar purpose as the Species Effects and Critical Habitat Effects summary pages. If you have previously entered Take data for the project, a summary of the data will be viewable on this screen.

In Bull Trout Effects-Take, Take data is collected only at the consultation level. The Take for the entire consultation is the sum of the Take for all Action/Work Types.

Take Determination

On the Take data entry page there are four options that align with Take Determinations that may be made in an ITS. 

The default selection is “The biological opinion indicates specific detailed take” if the biological opinion indicates an amount or extent of bull trout take is reasonably certain to occur and is authorized/ exempted. If you make this selection, you are required to enter take data. Instructions for entering take data are included in the Measure Data Entry section below. 

Other Rarely Used Determinations

Select “There will be no take” if the ITS indicates incidental take of bull trout is not likely to occur; again, this should be a rare circumstance. It is important to ensure this option is selected if the data being entered is associated with a Letter of Concurrence; failure to do so will be indicated in the Validation Report (see Chapter 15). Select “There will be take, but it is not quantified” if the ITS indicated take of bull trout is likely but for whatever reason cannot be quantified for the project as a whole. Select “There will be take, but it is not authorized” if the ITS indicates take of bull trout is likely but for whatever reason the take was not authorized (not exempted from the section 9 prohibition against take) for the project as a whole. 

Please use the notes box to provide decision related details, as appropriate, when “There will be take, but it is not quantified” or “There will be take, but it is not authorized” is the selection for the project as a whole. Do not forget to Save your selection.

Measure Data Entry

Bull Trout Effects-Take will accept take data of three basic types: organism measures (individuals), habitat measures (area, linear), and relative measures (habitat percentage). You can enter data in any measure category, but the preferred take category for take data entry is Organism Measures if the data are available; however, only if supported by the specific language in the ITS. Enter take data into the “surrogate” Habitat Measure or Relative Measure categories expression of take in that manner is supported by the ITS. Depending on the complexity of a consultation, it is possible to have take data in all three types, but be careful not to double count your take by quantifying any one estimated unit of take in more than one measure level. You may only enter a zero in any take field if the ITS specifically indicates that there will be zero take for that measure category (this will be a very rare occurrence); if the ITS is silent on this point do not enter zeros in the fields, leave them blank. Remember, you are expected to enter only the take details that can be reasonably supported by your Incidental Take Statement (ITS).

Each data row in each measure level includes the option to enter quantified sublethal or lethal take data or select There Will Be Take But It Is Not Quantified. You cannot enter take data and select Not Quantified for any one field. If for some reason your ITS indicates both quantified and unquantified lethal or sublethal take for a particular life stage or habitat type, default to entry of the numerical data in the appropriate lethal or sublethal* data field. You may make a note in the “Additional Information and/or Clarification About This Take” notes box describing any unquantified take for that life stage or habitat type. Also, since the Take page accepts take data only for the project as a whole, you will need to add up any lethal or sublethal take expressed in the ITS for any one life stage or habitat type prior to entry into Bull Trout Effects-Take; again using the notes box to discern any additional info you wish to include about the origin of the take you added up.

You may check the box for ‘There Will Be Take But It Is Not Quantified’ for any Take Measure category only if the ITS indicates that there will be take, but for whatever reason the take is not quantified (e.g., amount or extent unquantifiable) in the ITS. This should be a rare occurrence. If the ITS for the project as a whole indicates ‘There Will Be Take But It Is Not Quantified’, do not enter measure data, rather select “There will be take, but it is not quantified” from the Take Determination list as described in the Take Determinations section above. Please use the notes box to provide decision related details (including any assessment of “potential” take amounts), as appropriate, when ‘There Will Be Take But It Is Not Quantified’ is selected for any measure.

All take measure data entry requires you to make a choice between lethal and sub–lethal take. If the ITS does not provide enough information to determine whether the take is sub-lethal or lethal, you may use information contained in the biological opinion as a whole to assist with the determination of lethal or sublethal (Note: this is the only case where information contained outside the ITS may be used to support Take data entry).

You may only check the ‘There Will Be Take But It Is Not Quantified’ check box if the ITS specifically indicates ‘There Will Be Take But It Is Not Quantified’ for that measure category (this will be a very rare occurrence); if the ITS is silent on this point do not enter data in the ‘There Will Be Take But It Is Not Quantified’ check boxes; leave them blank. Remember, you are expected to enter only the take details that can be reasonably supported by your Incidental Take Statement (ITS), with the exception of the data indicated in the paragraph above.

*Lethal and Sublethal" vs. "Harm and Harass": A Note From Your Regional Section 7 Coordinator. Harm and harass are associated with the ESA legal definition of incidental take and represent types of actions that may result in take. Harm and harass definitions have been clarified in the ESA implementing regulations. The use of the term ‘likelihood of injury’ in the clarification of ‘harass’ specifically has created some confusion about the resulting biological outcome; leading some to believe that harass only ever results in sublethal take, and so lethal take always results from harm. In fact wildlife can be killed or injured in both circumstances; injury can result in mortality. So be cautious when attempting to cross-walk one to the other.

Entering Organism Measures

If the ITS includes any amount of quantified take at the organism level, you must enter the amounts for lethal and/or sub-lethal take in the Organism Measure section, specifically as indicated in the ITS. If the ITS does not identify specific Organism Measures life stage categories (i.e., adult, sub-adult, juvenile, etc.), you may enter Take data under Not Specified by Life Stage.

Entering Habitat Measures

Entering a Take for a Habitat Measure is similar to entering data for Organism Measures, with two additional steps. You can enter either area or linear measures of take. First, you must choose the habitat “surrogate” type (i.e., estuarine, marine, riparian, upland for area measures of take; stream and shoreline for linear measures of take) to associate the Habitat Measures data. The second is you must enter a unit specification (acres or hectares for area measures; miles, kilometers, feet or meters for linear measures) in the Units drop down list.

Entering a Relative Measure

Relative measures are entered in the same manner as Organism Measures, except the lethal and sub-lethal values are percentages, with options for relating the take to watersheds or local populations. Enter the percentages as an integer value. For example, type "45" for 45%. This type of take measure is seldom used.

Entering a Date for Take Duration

If you selected “The biological opinion indicates specific detailed take” from the Take Determination list, you must enter a start and end date for the take. The start date can default to the signature date on the biological opinion; use the default unless you have specific information about a known later start date. The end date is the date the last take is anticipated to occur; this date can extend beyond the life of a Federal action due to effects leading to take that occur later in time (i.e., indirect effects). 

There are two ways to enter a date in the date fields. The first is to enter the numerical representation of the month (mm), date (dd), and year (yyyy) in the appropriate text fields. The second is to click on the calendar icon to the right of the year field. If the take is anticipated to occur in perpetuity (be careful with this determination), simply click on the ‘Is the Take Perpetual?’ check box instead of entering an end date; this should be a rarely used choice.

Additional Information and/or Clarification About This Take

Use the notes box to indicate any data entry decisions or issues associated with the selections you make on this page.

Do not forget to hit the ‘Save’ button to save your data!

Hint: Do not use the back arrow prior to saving any data you have entered.

After saving your selections, you will remain on the Take summary page that you were editing where you will be able to view or edit further the Take data you have entered. 

Coming Soon: A primary goal of this application is to allow users to collect post-project or “actual” take data; however currently we are only able to collect “estimated” take data from biological opinions.

 


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