Arid Zone Monitoring: Surveys for vertebrates across arid and semi-arid zones

Date: 04, Mar, 2019
Author(s):   Sarah Legge, Katherine Moseby, Taleah Watego-Piggott, Anja Skroblin, Darren Southwell
Publisher: TSR Hub

Monitoring animal populations in Australia’s sandy deserts is challenging. Desert species can be patchily distributed, at low densities, and have boom-bust cycles. As a result, we know little about the distribution, abundance, and status of desert wildlife. However, over the past decade many Indigenous ranger groups, desert ecologists, NGOs and government agencies have combined traditional Indigenous tracking skills with a scientific approach to data collection to survey wildlife and their threats, usually at a local scale. This project is working with these partners to collate and analyse this information, to produce a collective picture of the distributions of desert species and their threats, and how these are changing over time. The research will also provide guidance to groups on how to improve their monitoring programs so they are collecting the data they need to help them manage country. The project will showcase the work carried out by Indigenous and other groups in Australian deserts, and lay the groundwork for creating ongoing, national-scale monitoring for desert wildlife.