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The Center for Native Grasslands Management

Title: Design and implementation of monitoring studies to evaluate the success of ecological restoration on wildlife
Year: 2001
Author(s): Block, W. M., Franklin, A. B., Ward, J. P. J., Ganey, J. L., White, G. C.
Source Title: Restoration Ecology
Source Type: Journal
pages: 293-303
Original Publication: http://  
Abstract: Restoration projects are often developed with little consideration for understanding their effects on wildlife. We contend, however, that monitoring treatment effects on wildlife should be an integral component of the design and execution of any management activity, including restoration. Thus, we provide a conceptual framework for the design and implementation of monitoring studies to understand the effects of restoration on wildlife. Our underlying premise is that effective monitoring hinges on an appropriate study design for unbiased and precise estimates of the response variables. We advocate using measures of population dynamics for response variables given that they provide the most direct measures of wildlife status and trends. The species to be monitored should be those constituting an assemblage of umbrella species that represent the range of spatial and functional requirements of wildlife in a restored ecological system. Selection of umbrella species should be based on strong empirical evidence that justifies their usage. We also advocate that monitoring be designed as true experiments or quasi-experiments rather than as observational studies to allow for stronger inferences regarding the effects of restoration on wildlife. Our primary message is that if monitoring is to be done, it must be scientifically based.