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“Nature always wears the colors of the spirit” – EMERSON Designing a state-wide volunteer monitoring program Paul C West--August, 2003—Citizen Monitoring.

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Presentation on theme: "“Nature always wears the colors of the spirit” – EMERSON Designing a state-wide volunteer monitoring program Paul C West--August, 2003—Citizen Monitoring."— Presentation transcript:

1 “Nature always wears the colors of the spirit” – EMERSON Designing a state-wide volunteer monitoring program Paul C West--August, 2003—Citizen Monitoring Conference

2 The mission of The Nature Conservancy is to protect the plants, animals and habitats that represent the diversity of life on earth by protecting the lands and waters that they need to survive.

3 Setting Priorities (Ecoregional Assessments) Conservation Action Designing Strategies (Conservation Project Planning) Measuring Success

4 Volunteer monitoring examples Use of the monitoring data What to monitor Recommendations Outline

5 Nature Conservancy monitoring programs

6 Inform public policy or DNR priorities? Guide site-specific management actions? Use of monitoring data

7 Types of Indicators From Cairns (1993): Compliance indicators Diagnostic indicators Early-warning indicators Current Status & Trends Use of monitoring data

8 Shrub carr Tussock sedge meadow pH HighLow Surface water input & nutreints High Low Wetlands of the Mukwonago River Watershed Calcareous fen Fire Seasonal water level changes High contribution of calcium rich groundwater Fire Small scale disturbance Relict kettle bog Emergent marsh Cattails Increase nutrients/ h20 levels Increase H20 levels, stable H20 level Increase nutrients Reduce groundwater input Fire exclusion Dry out wetland Fire exclusion Restore hydroperiod Kill cattails Burn Increase h20 levels Dry out wetland Fire exclusion What to monitor?

9 Low High Wetlands of the Mukwonago River Watershed What to monitor? Tussock sedge meadow Emergent marsh Calcareous fen CattailsShrub carr

10 1. Develop state-wide monitoring objectives based on conceptual models and key driving factors Recommendations Example: Between 2005 and 2010, we want to have a 90% probability of detecting a 10% change in [water quality, invasive species] and are willing to accept a 1 in 10 chance that we’ll say that a change occurred when it really didn’t. Key components: timescale, chance of detecting change, minimum detectable change, what to monitor chance of detecting a false change

11 2. Monitor both target-based and threat-based monitoring (and possibly management-based, such as voluntary BMPs). 3. Focus on limited data at greatest number of sites reduce observer bias use for trend analysis to guide policy and budget decisions complement detailed monitoring at fewer places, done by DNR and others. 4. Data management structure needs to be developed prior to collecting data. Recommendations

12 5. Citizen-based monitoring should complement a comprehensive monitoring program Recommendations Landscape metrics: Overall extent; distribution, patch size GIS-basedPublic agencies, possibly NGOs Presence/absence or abundance of species; threat indicators Field workCitizens, NGOs, public agencies Community-level monitoring, eg., species inventory Field workPublic agencies; possibly NGOs What?How?Who?

13 Recommendations

14 Cairns et al A proposed framework for developing indicators of ecosystem health. Hydrobiologia 263: Elzinga et al Measuring and Monitoring Plant Populations. BLM Technical Reference Parrish et al Are we conserving what we say we are? Measuring ecological integrity within protected areas. BioScience 53: References


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