Hi Everyone, I am looking for ways organisations measure species status when monitoring abundance/declines. More info below:

Helen Pheasey on Mar 31, 2020 • 11 answer
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I am working on the Back from the Brink project with Amphibian and Reptile Conservation and we are attempting to streamline methods of monitoring species status. IUCN Red Listing is the globally recognised example but not always applicable when measuring at the local level. UK methods most appreciated. Please don't hesitate to message me if you have suggestions, reports, case studies etc. Thanks

Answers

Hi Helen, it seems like there are 2 connected things here - the way of categorising the status (e.g. endangered, vulnerable) of the population in question and then the methods to collect/analyse data that would enable you to assessing that status- is that right? The answer to your question also seems to me to be dependent on who is the audience that needs this information and how will they use it.

If you want a way of defining a status to support the landscape level teams to work out if they are achieving their desired impact, then I would suggest that it is more useful for those teams to simply incorporate the desired status into a measurable objective e.g. A 20% increace in badgers by 2029 compared to 2020 levels.

If you want to show donors/supported/partners on a very high level what is the current status of those localised populations and how that is changing over time then I think that you may have to invent a new system (I could not find one from a search). If that is the case then I suggest you could keep it very simple/intuitive e.g. no longer present, decreasing, stable, increasing, at full capacity - the only bit of qualification needed for each status category would then be the timeframe for which the assessment was being made.

I fear these suggestions may not be what you are looking for so I will reach out to someone who may know more about existing standardised status measures/categories. In any case I enjoyed looking up about the Back from the Brink initiative - looks amazing and best of luck with it.

Adam Barlow on Apr 01, 2020
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Hi Helen, I agree completely with Adam that the method you settle on will depend very much on the purpose underpinning the monitoring. If you would like to report on change relative to some international standard, then clearly the Red List is an option. However, it's not a very sensitive indicator of change. Have you looked into other UK-based organisations to see what systems they use? I think I'd contact Richard Griffiths at DICE, Uni of Kent, or Gerardo Garcia from Chester Zoo, both of whom will be more closely connected to UK monitoring of these taxonomic groups. Email me at jamie@cpsg.org if you'd like a contact address. Cheers jamie

Jamie Copsey on Apr 01, 2020
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Hi Helen,

At Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust they have developed the Durrell Index, see the website here - https://www.durrell.org/wildlife/wildlife/durrell-index/explore/

This is an interactive online tool which presents the work being conducted by the organisation and species specific projects and also the tracks the impact that conservation work is having on species IUCN status. It is worth exploring the website and seeing how they have set it up. There is annual data collection from all projects which feeds into this. The methods and results of this work were published and can be found here -https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0006320714003565

I hope this illustrates one method which has been used. Thanks, Gwen

Gwen Maggs on Apr 01, 2020
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Thanks everyone, some very useful points here and your thought are most appreciated. There does seems to be a fine line between a measure and a method which i am still attempting to separate. Your comments are valued.

Helen Pheasey on Apr 02, 2020
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Hi Helen, In case it helps I would think of the links between all these elements in the following way:
Status = a list of sequential categories with defined value ranges e.g. stable = -10% to +10% change in population size since previous time period
Objective = what change you want to see in a given time period (e.g. 10% increase within 5 years)
Indicator = the exact thing you measure to help you see if you have reached your objective or not e.g. number of badgers/100km2
Method = approach used to collect and/or analyse the indicator data

Some more monitoring info here is helpful https://www.wildteam.org.uk/strategy-development

Adam Barlow on Apr 02, 2020
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Hi Helen, if you had time, very interested to hear if any of the information above helped you to make a decision on what to do next, and what you decided to do. Cheers Adam

Adam Barlow on May 04, 2020
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HI Adam,

Thank you, the project is ongoing, including researching species status measures and we now have a questionnaire for NGOs in the field. Do you know if it is possible to recruit questionnaire participants though this platform, i am sure it would be a great knowledge base to tap into? Thanks for your continued support.

Helen Pheasey on May 06, 2020
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Hi Helen, thanks for sharing that. I am sure you can do a shout out on this platform about needing data from NGOs - maybe a post or something? Not sure what room it could go in but Thirza will know.

Adam Barlow on May 06, 2020
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Hi Helen,
Thanks for the update and you are welcome to share the questionnaire with the WildHub community. What I would recommend is setting up a room named something like "Species population assessments & monitoring" (I can do this for you) and then you post your survey in this open room (I can share with you how to do this). I can furthermore make sure that your post with questionnaire will be included in our bi-weekly highlights newsletter. Would this be of help perhaps?

Thirza Loffeld on May 06, 2020
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Thanks Thirza, That would be great, let's call it Measures of Species Status and Recovery. I await further instructions.

Helen Pheasey on May 07, 2020
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Hi Helen, perfect! If you have time to join the WildHub Weekly now (till 11am) or tonight (5.30-6.30pm), we can set up the room and your questionnaire post within 15 minutes. Please find me online in our virtual coffee corner here: https://wildhub.community/panels/337c8892a52668f575e622d5

Thirza Loffeld on May 07, 2020
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