Monitoring is where information is captured over time to assess changes in an objective and scientific way. This could include tracking the growth of plants, numbers of pest species or the abundance of native wildlife.
For anyone undertaking ecological restoration or even just attempting to maintain an ecosystem in its current state, monitoring should be a key component to your project. Monitoring results are important for:
- Attracting new members to your project
- Applying for funding
- Modifying how you work (adaptive management)
- Knowing when you have reached certain goals
- Allowing changes in an ecosystem to be recorded for your own interest
It is important that you structure your monitoring regime around your goals; think carefully about what you are trying to achieve and select different monitoring methods to cater for those. is will lead to a monitoring programme which is targeted and time efficient.