Principles of Monitoring Ecological Populations and Communities: Why, What and How?

Presented by Monitoring of ecological populations and communities has become a popular endeavor in conservation. Most existing monitoring programs provide information that is useful to some degree, but most are inefficient and/or provide weak inferences. We try to bring clarity to monitoring by emphasizing the importance of being very clear about the objectives of the monitoring program (answering the “why” question). These objectives then largely dictate the answers to the “what” and “how” questions. In addition, the question of “how to monitor” requires attention to 2 issues that characterize most monitoring of animal populations and communities, spatial variation and detection probability. Approaches to dealing with these 2 issues are discussed. Main aims and goal:The student will no longer think of monitoring as a stand-alone activity but as a component of a larger program of either science or management/conservation. This recognition leads to clear paths forward in developing monitoring programs that provide the requisite information for the larger program. Workshop organisers:James D. Nichols