Physical Habitat Assessment
The third component of our routine monitoring procedure is assessment of the quality of physical habitat at the site using a variant of the USDAStream Visual Assessment Protocol (SVAP) adapted to the conditions of Talamanca. SVAP is a user-friendly, extremely low-cost method which permits observers, after less than an hour of training, to derive an SVAP score, on a scale of 1 to 10 by analyzing factors such as
*Condition of the riparian vegetative buffer.
* Degree of sedimentation.
* Abundance and condition of habitat features such as pools and riffles
* Nearby sources of organic pollution
* Barriers to fish movement.