Pests & Protocols

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Ecological Field Monitoring Protocols:

Standardising environmental monitoring and data systems for improved decision making (page under construction)

Pest Fauna Protocols:

Standardising pest fauna monitoring and data collection for improved decision making and adaptive management

Ecological Protocols

Standardising environmental monitoring and data systems for improved decision making

A project to provide standardised ecological field survey and monitoring protocols, consistency in data recording and support for the development of a biodiversity data repository that stores and shares FAIR survey data

Aims

Scope

To standardise ecological field survey and monitoring protocols, consistency in data recording and support the development of a Biodiversity Data Repository that stores and shares FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, re-usable) survey data. 

Project Deliverables

Pest Protocols

Standardising pest fauna monitoring and data collection for improved decision-making and adaptive management

A project to provide standardised ecological field survey and monitoring protocols and strengthen the evidence base for assessing and quantifying the impact of pest fauna

Scope

To standardise ecological field survey and monitoring data collected for seven vertebrate pest species in Australia: feral cats, foxes, wild dogs, pigs, goats, rabbits, and deer. To collate existing monitoring methods for wild horses and camels. 

Outputs

Vertebrate Pests Protocols Project FAQ

For now, the project is focused on feral cats, foxes, wild dogs, pigs, rabbits, goats and deer (multiple deer species). For these species, we will be conducting a review of existing monitoring methods commonly used by practitioners already, assessing their suitability for RLP projects, and developing monitoring protocols with an associated data entry app. The project has a minor component identifying the existing monitoring methods used for camels and wild horses as a first step, but no protocols are expected for these species just yet.

TERN protocols are written as step-by-step instructional guides, providing the surveyor with all the information required to implement the protocols to the specified standard. The instructions and guidelines provided, together with the field collection app, mean that the data is not open to interpretation by the surveyor. TERN protocols are considered fully repeatable, meaning any semi-experienced ecologist or land manager should be able to pick-up the manual and the app, and conduct the protocols with no error.

No, the project is only focussing on developing ecological monitoring protocols to collate data on presence, absence, abundance, and the environmental disturbances the vertebrate pest species are causing. The protocols are likely to incorporate protocols for monitoring habitat damage, and recovery as an outcome of managing the pest species, but not the actual control and management strategies.

The first stage of the project is to kick-off awareness raising and identify opportunities for RLP providers, land managers, and ecologists to be involved in the project. In early 2022 we will run workshops to engage interested people, and aim to identify the best-practice monitoring protocols currently used, and start assessing their suitability for RLP projects. From there, we will start developing the protocols and conduct field trials in different environments targeting the different vertebrate pest species. There will be more opportunities for stakeholder involvement, with draft protocols presented at another workshop. Once the approaches, and techniques have been settled on, we will develop the associated field data collection app, and conduct more field trials. In 2023, once everything is prepared, tested, and running smoothly, service providers will be trained on how to implement the protocols, and training materials, including instructional videos, will be developed and made available to practitioners.

Yes, the protocols are being written to be adaptable to all environments and vegetation communities covered by RLP – currently the 54 National Landcare Program Management Units across Australia. Whilst being standardised, the protocols will allow some flexibility to cater for special environments, for example rocky escarpments where survey transects or camera trap arrays may need some alterations to allow safe and effective installation.

NRM Service providers will be kept informed on the projects progress via the National Landcare Program newsletters.

TERN will work with the Australian vertebrate pest management community and RLP service providers to ensure the protocols are best practice. Please register your interest via this form if you would like to participate in an online stakeholder workshop, training and/or provide feedback on training, use of the app, identification and scoping of future protocol modules.

The protocols, and associated data collection app, will be ready to use with new RLP projects commencing in the second half of 2023.

Yes, the protocols are being written to be adaptable to all environments and vegetation communities covered by RLP – currently the 54 National Landcare Program Management Units across Australia. Whilst being standardised, the protocols will allow some flexibility to cater for special environments, for example rocky escarpments where survey transects or camera trap arrays may need some alterations to allow safe and effective installation.

NRM Service providers will be kept informed on the projects progress via the National Landcare Program newsletters.

This website will be updated as the project develops. To be kept updated via email updates, please complete the contact us form.

Ecological Protocols Project FAQ

The 19 modules are: Plot selection and layout, Plot description, Photopoints, Floristics, Plant tissue vouchering, Cover, Basal area, Coarse woody debris, Recruitment, Fire, Condition, Soils, Vegetation mapping, Interventions, Opportunistic observations, Invertebrate fauna, Vertebrate fauna, Targeted surveys, Camera traps.

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