Project: EuMon – EU-wide monitoring methods and systems of surveillance for species and habitats of Community interest (2008)

Postdoctoral Research Associate, funded through the EU FP6 program.

The EuMon project was an interdisciplinary consortium of 16 partners from 11 different countries. The project focused on developing tools for biodiversity monitoring, with particular emphasis on four major aspects: the involvement of volunteers, coverage and characteristics of monitoring schemes, monitoring methods, and the setting of monitoring and conservation priorities.

Volunteers. Most monitoring schemes rely on volunteers, and the relationship between amateurs and professionals is particularly important for implementing a successful monitoring regime. EuMon showed that monitoring schemes based on volunteers do perform equally well or even better than professional schemes in most indicators of scientific quality and reliability. Key principles for the successful volunteer involvement can be found elsewhere on this portal.

Coverage and characteristics of biodiversity monitoring. EuMon developed a comprehensive database (DaEuMon) on European biodiversity monitoring schemes. The database contains metadata that characterise monitoring schemes and provides contact addresses. DaEuMon will be maintained and expanded continuously and is an integral part of BioMAT – the EuMon integrated Biodiversity Monitoring and Assessment Tool. BioMAT’s module 1 allows extraction of this information and its presentation in tabular or graphical form.

Monitoring methods. EuMon evaluated existing monitoring methods for the design of monitoring schemes, for the analysis of monitoring data, and for the integration of collected information across schemes. Based on these evaluations, EuMon developed a primer for biodiversity monitoring that summarizes the most important recommendations and also compiled extended guidelines. Recommended monitoring schemes provide the basis for modules 2 and 3 of BioMAT.

National responsibilities and networks of protected areas. EuMon has compiled methods to develop an efficient network of protected areas and has analysed gaps and biases in the NATURA 2000 network. EuMon has also developed methods to evaluate the national responsibility of EU Member states for the conservation of species and habitats. National responsibility is a measure of the importance of the assessed region (usually a country) for the global survival of a species respectively habitat type.

Monitoring support tools. EuMon developed three internet based support tools: BioMAT – the EuMon integrated Biodiversity Monitoring and Assessment Tool, the database on European biodiversity monitoring schemes (DaEuMon), and the PMN database that contains information on organisations that carry out volunteer based biodiversity monitoring. In addition, EuMon developed key principles for biodiversity monitoring and for determining national responsibilities. The comprehensive results of EuMon are also available on this portal.

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