Habitat Mapping

BMT WBM ecologists and GIS specialists have extensive experience with various remote sensing applications and ground survey techniques to develop accurate terrestrial and aquatic habitat maps.

With our customised open water research vessel, together with our ongoing research and development of our sampling techniques and systems, we are able to offer a wide of seabed habitat mapping solutions that can be specifically tailored to client requirements.

We offer the following services:

  • Mapping of vegetation and shallow-water benthic habitats using remote imagery – including satellite imagery and aerial photography
  • Mapping of subtidal and intertidal habitats using acoustic techniques – including collection and analysis of digital bathymetry, and geophysical seabed mapping using multi-beam, single-beam and side-scan sonar
  • Ground validation for classification and accuracy assessment purposes.  We offer a comprehensive range of descriptive and quantitative vegetation community and habitat survey techniques to validate our habitat maps.

Recent Relevant Projects

Geophysical Habitat and Benthic Community Mapping Projects (Queensland)

BMT WBM has completed several major subtidal seabed habitat mapping studies using acoustic remote sensing methods.  The studies had different objectives, but broadly included: (i) identification of representative seabed habitat types to inform the zoning plan for Moreton Bay Marine Park; (ii) identification of ecological constraints to inform water infrastructure and port planning studies; and (iii) planning and design of baseline ecological monitoring studies.  These studies involved the use of single-beam, multi-beam and side scan sonar to map broad geophysical habitat classes, and ground validation using video and grab-based sampling techniques. 

Swansea Channel Seagrass and Littoral Vegetation Mapping Studies (NSW)

BMT WBM was engaged to undertake a range of studies that aimed to improve the environmental values and navigability of Swansea Channel.  Critical to all these studies was the need for a fine-scale seagrass community map of the study area.  Seagrass community mapping was undertaken using a combination of aerial photograph interpretation, and video and diver-based ground validation methods.  The map provided a basis for defining the location and extent of high ecological value seagrass meadows potentially affected by proposed dredging works.

Brisbane City Historical Remnant Vegetation Mapping Study (Queensland)

Brisbane City Council required an assessment of the historic extent of remnant vegetation within the City area, as part of their State of the Environment reporting. BMT WBM undertook an extensive assessment of the remnant vegetation present in the City area in 1946, based on interpretation of a set of historical air photos.  A classification system was developed to define broad vegetation community types.   All remnant vegetation within the City area was then digitised from air photos to produce a geo-referenced map layer compatible with Council’s existing GIS layers.  The results of this study have provided Council with a range of indices defining historical remnant vegetation cover.