Navigation path

Themes
Agriculture & food
Energy
Environment
  Atmosphere
  Biodiversity
  Clean technology and recycling
  Climate & global change
  Cultural heritage
  Earth Observation
  Ecosystems, incl. land, inland waters, marine
  Health & environment
  Land management
  Natural disasters
  Sustainable development
  Urban living
  Other
ERA-NET
Health & life sciences
Human resources & mobility
Industrial research
Information society
Innovation
International cooperation
Nanotechnology
Pure sciences
Research infrastructures
Research policy
Science & business
Science in society
Security
SMEs
Social sciences and humanities
Space
Special Collections
Transport

Countries
Countries
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Botswana
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Burkina Faso
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czech Republic
  Denmark
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Ethiopia
  Finland
  France
  Gambia
  Georgia
  Germany
  Ghana
  Greece
  Hungary
  Iceland
  India
  Indonesia
  Ireland
  Israel
  Italy
  Japan
  Kazakhstan
  Kenya
  Korea
  Latvia
  Lichtenstein
  Lithuania
  Luxembourg
  Madagascar
  Malaysia
  Malta
  Mexico
  Montenegro
  Morocco
  Mozambique
  Namibia
  Netherlands
  New Zealand
  Nigeria
  Norway
  Panama
  Peru
  Poland
  Portugal
  Romania
  Russia
  Senegal
  Serbia
  Slovakia
  Slovenia
  South Africa
  Spain
  Sri Lanka
  Swaziland
  Sweden
  Switzerland
  Taiwan
  Tanzania
  Thailand
  Tunisia
  Turkey
  Uganda
  Ukraine
  United Kingdom
  United States
  Vietnam


   Environment

Last Update: 25-09-2012  
Related category(ies):
Research policy  |  Environment

 

Countries involved in the project described in the article:
France  |  Germany
Add to PDF "basket"

SCALES project investigates environment monitoring

Conservation practice, backed with strong data and recommendations, is high on the EU agenda. One of the most important ways to identify changes in the environment and in natural populations is to focus on biodiversity and environmental monitoring. The data generated from monitoring helps decision makers and researchers design and assess biodiversity policies, conservation management, land use decisions and environmental protection. The SCALES ('Securing the conservation of biodiversity across administrative levels and spatial, temporal, and ecological scales') project has performed an evaluation that focused on providing scientific and policy research required to guide scale-dependent management actions. SCALES has received almost EUR 7 million under the Environment Theme of the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).

There are more than 600 active bird-monitoring programmes in Europe © Shutterstock
There are more than 600 active bird-monitoring programmes in Europe
©  Shutterstock

The SCALE project partners said birds are key indicators of biodiversity because of their distribution and popularity on a global scale. Data indicate that there are more than 600 all monitoring programmes in Europe. Presented in the journal Nature Conservation, the evaluation shows that almost 28 000 people have participated in the 144 monitoring programmes that cover birds, spending nearly 80 000 person days each year.

'Although popular among conservationists, bird-monitoring practices have never been characterised quantitatively,' said lead author Dr Dirk Schmeller of the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), one of the project partners, at the recent SCALES symposium in Glasgow, United Kingdom. 'We undertook a focused questionnaire-based survey to objectively explore the strengths and weaknesses of the massive bird-monitoring effort in Europe. The results indicate a high potential for further improvements to bird monitoring in sampling design, data analysis and involvement of volunteers from the public.'

For his part, SCALES coordinator Dr Klaus Henle of Helmholtz-Zentrum fuer Umweltforschung GmbH (UFZ) said: 'Variation in space and time can cause a significant deviation in the monitoring results, which may lead to incorrect conservation policy decisions. Therefore increasing awareness of the spatial or temporal scale at which monitoring has been performed can be of crucial importance!'

The consortium observed that a way to optimise monitoring practices is to collect quantitative data, including the number of individuals. It should be noted that improving monitoring priorities and integration of different monitoring activities could strengthen resource allocation between independent monitoring sites.

The SCALES partners discovered that repetitive sampling of the same sites within 12 months is a must. They also suggest that if manpower is limited, more monitoring samples should be taken. The team recommends that monitoring coordinators should make special efforts to draw in volunteers, and should consider the following: 1) the specific characters of the local community; 2) having a recruitment strategy for volunteers interested in monitoring; 3) maintaining good communication with the volunteers; 4) having low hierarchies and treating volunteers with respect; and 5) making links to other voluntary organisations to add value to the work.

'There is no one clear recipe to recruit and keep volunteers, but what is important is to keep in mind that the volunteers sacrifice their spare time for monitoring activities, which are of interest to all society,' Dr Schmeller concluded.


Convert article(s) to PDF

No article selected


loading


Search articles

Notes:
To restrict search results to articles in the Information Centre, i.e. this site, use this search box rather than the one at the top of the page.

After searching, you can expand the results to include the whole Research and Innovation web site, or another section of it, or all Europa, afterwards without searching again.

Please note that new content may take a few days to be indexed by the search engine and therefore to appear in the results.

Print Version
Share this article
See also

SCALES
Nature Conservation





  Top   Research Information Center