Biodiversity Monitoring

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The project involves the development of a community science monitoring program designed around the ACT Vegetation Survey and Monitoring Manual by Sarah Sharp and Lori Gould. The Molonglo Catchment Group have tested the repeatability and robustness of volunteer data gathered using the manual against data gathered by professionals using the same process via an ACT Environment Grant. The project found that the manual was a suitable tool for a community based biodiversity survey.

The project builds on the experiences gained from Waterwatch and Frogwatch in the design of the program, including the use of QA/QC procedures and refresher training to ensure the data is credible and can be used by decision makers with confidence. The M-CHiP-style central reporting mechanism will also be mirrored as will the Waterwatch method of communicating results to volunteers via monthly and yearly reporting, taking the form of a seasonal rundown of results and a yearly report.

The project will deliver:

  • Identification/development of a central reporting hub for data gathered.
  • Training for volunteer groups and landholders across the ACT and region.
  • Consultation with key stakeholders to identify key sites for monitoring to ensure a broad coverage of the ACT and Region.
  • Establishment of a twice yearly survey period including monitoring kits for each group. In the first two years of the project we will establish at least 8 and no more than 15 monitoring sites across the ACT and Region. These 8 sites will be in areas highlighted as of strategic importance by key stakeholder groups.
  • Professional assistance with plant identification.
  • Feeding the data gathered up the chain to key decision makers via the Conservation Councilís Biodiversity Mapping project.
  • WoNS and threatened species data gathered and mapped across the ACT and region, this will be dependent upon these species being present in survey areas.
  • Reporting back to groups and landholders the results across the ACT and region.

As highlighted above the project targets rural landholders and community groups to develop a better understanding, and therefore better management, of urban/rural land health and biodiversity. Better management will be achieved through the use of monitoring data to identify the success or failures of management techniques. Furthermore, by passing the data up the chain through the Conservation Councils project better collaboration between ParkCare and land management agencies can be achieved resulting in improved management of Canberra Nature Park.

The Molonglo Catchment Group is facilitating the roll-out of the monitoring across the ACT and Region with the support of the Ginninderra and Southern ACT Catchment Groups. We will also collaborate with the Conservation Council ACT and Region, Parks Conservation and Lands, ACTPLA and TAMS to ensure the data gathered through the monitoring is reported in a format that allows it to be used by decision makers in land management activities.

The project is assisted by the Australian Government's Caring for Our Country and the ACT Government.

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Last modified: 27/03/2014