Wise selection of an indicator for monitoring the success of management actions

Tulloch, Ayesha, Possingham, Hugh P. and Wilson, Kerrie (2011) Wise selection of an indicator for monitoring the success of management actions. Biological Conservation, 144 1: 141-154. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2010.08.009

Author Tulloch, Ayesha
Possingham, Hugh P.
Wilson, Kerrie
Title Wise selection of an indicator for monitoring the success of management actions
Journal name Biological Conservation   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0006-3207
Publication date 2011-01-01
Year available 2010
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.biocon.2010.08.009
Volume 144
Issue 1
Start page 141
End page 154
Total pages 14
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elseiver BV
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objective approaches are needed to select species for monitoring management effectiveness and to justify conservation investments. We develop and apply two approaches for selecting the most cost-effective and informative indicator species with a case study of monitoring investments in invasive predator control in south-western Australia. We compared species selected by a qualitative approach involving experts scoring 17 criteria for 12 potential indicators to a quantitative metric based on empirical data for a subset of criteria. Both approaches accounted for the monitoring cost, potential for leverage, data uncertainty and the risk of choosing an un-representative or un-informative indicator, albeit in different ways. The indicator species selected by the quantitative metric was the western brushtail possum Trichosurus vulpecula – a relatively common medium-sized mammal in the study region. When costs were not considered explicitly in the qualitative approach, the indicator selected was the woylie Bettongia penicillata. When costs were sensibly incorporated in the qualitative approach, indicator rankings changed and the top-ranked species was again T. vulpecula. Although when costs were included the qualitative expert-driven approach delivered the same result as the quantitative metric, it was not robust to minor data adjustments, and incorporating expert uncertainty made it difficult to distinguish the value of potential indicator species from each other. The quantitative metric was comparatively robust to minor data adjustments, and enabled evaluation of data uncertainty in a transparent way, presenting a more objective approach that enables explicit selection of the most informative indicator for monitoring management actions.
© 2010 Elsevier Ltd.
Keyword Monitoring
Indicator species
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Available online 9 September 2010

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
Ecology Centre Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 21 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 23 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 13 Oct 2010, 01:58:26 EST by Gail Walter on behalf of School of Biological Sciences