While environmental monitoring through Australia's rangelands has a long history, incomplete geographic coverage and inconsistent methods have led to problems in comparing data across time and space. The AusPlots Rangelands Survey Protocols Manual addresses this issue, providing a simple agreed method for anyone undertaking research or monitoring in the rangelands.
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Developed in conjunction with collaborators from all Australian rangeland jurisdictions across several agencies, this survey methodology will be used to collect uniform data across Australia's rangelands to inform research, management and conservation strategies. Thanks to close collaboration with stakeholders during the development phase, the methodology has already been adopted widely by state and federal agencies, and private organisations across multiple states.
The manual divides the new method into a series of modules and respective collection protocols that can be undertaken as individual investigations or in combination with others. There is also an accompanying app, currently available for Android operating systems, that allows users to enter data in the field and then upload this to a server as soon as a network connection is available. This cuts down on potential for errors and reduces time required for data collection and entry - the kinds of simple efficiencies that make a significant different in the context of long-term monitoring programs.
The Manual is currently available as a digital download, but the AusPlots Rangelands team will be publishing a hard copy which will be available in late November 2012. To register interest for this hard copy version, please email
Follow the links below to read more about the development and uptake of the AusPlots Rangelands Survey Protocols Manual:
AusPlots have also recently released version 1 of their Forests Survey Protocols Manual. The manual outlines the field methodology for AusPlots Forests. The background and rationale of the project and details of bioregional stratification and site selection will be outlined in a separate document. This version of the manual (v1.6) details the methodology for (a) the installation of plot infrastructure, (b) the description of the site and (c) the core measurements that form the minimum dataset for AusPlots Forests plots. This draft edition is provided as an online resource and material from the document or its attachments should not be republished without written consent.