Ecological monitoring helps us manage our reserves and build a bank of knowledge about their natural values.
Ecological monitoring helps us to better manage our reserves by providing information about their condition and how this may change over time. Monitoring also provides an early warning of threats, such as feral animals or weeds, so that we can act quickly and efficiently. By relating our ecological monitoring data to the work we do on our reserves, such as ecological burning or pest control, we know how well we are actually managing the reserves we seek to protect.
We use a range of technologies to make the task of ecological monitoring easier. We monitor fauna using motion-sensor camera traps and leave them in the landscape day and night for several months. Data from the images we collect gives us a measurement of the diversity and abundance of native animals, and also feral species such as cats or deer. We monitor vegetation at fixed photo-points, where we take repeat photos at regular intervals to detect changes in the landscape.
Other techniques include remote sensing technologies such as satellite imagery and LIDAR which we use to monitor larger scale changes in the landscape that could affect our reserves and neighbouring areas. These technologies allow us to understand the impact of widespread processes such as climate change, land clearing or bushfires. The methods we use are described in more detail in our monitoring manual and the annual reports we produce for our TLC reserves. To get involved in our ecological monitoring program, visit our volunteering page and register your interest. Download a brochure on our monitoring program here (PDF).
Banner image: TLC Conservation Ecologist Rowena Hamer conducting flora monitoring with volunteers at the Vale of Belvoir Reserve. Photo: Phill Roach