Sandplot surveys on APY Lands

Date: 08, Sep, 2021
Author(s):   Sarah Legge, Naomi Indigo, Katherine Moseby, Caro Galindez-Silva and Phillipa Mawby

Animals make tracks, scats and diggings. We can say what animals have been in a place by searching for these signs – this is a sandplot survey. If we search for their signs in different types of country, we can say which areas are best for different animals. If we search over many years, we can say if animals are getting more common or less common. Many ranger groups in the deserts use sandplot surveys to record where animals are, whether they are changing in numbers, and to see if their land management is working. Sandplot surveys are a great way to monitor animals, especially the bigger ones that leave good tracks in the sand. Some scientists from the National Environmental Science Program’s Threatened Species Recovery Hub are working with ranger groups to help them set up good monitoring programs, and to share information across ranger groups so everyone can see what is happening with animals across all the deserts.