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Learning Network > Biodiversity Survey > Rapid Assessment Program > Tool Kit > Implementing a Survey

Implementing a Survey

Implementing a Survey


Implementation of a rapid biodiversity survey also involves many steps and considerations. You must choose the right sampling design and methods to address your question/study.

Many aspects of biodiversity can be investigated through the biodiversity survey, including information about the species recorded such as their rarity, endemism, range, and habitat requirements. You can also collect information on habitat condition and threats during a survey. See this draft document for more details on what information is typically sought through a survey.

There are many methods for detecting and recording species in the field. Methods recommended by RAP scientists can be found in the RAP Field Methods folder in the Library. Other methods and papers evaluating the methods can also be found in the Library and in the spreadsheet.

Field Survey Methods

RAP partners at the Papua New Guinea Institute for Biological Research (IBR) and Green Capacity collaborated with RAP to produce a manual that covers the basics of field surveys, including sampling design, field survey methods, specimen collection, and data analysis. The manual is written for PNG scientists but its principals can be applied to field work in rainforests in any part of the world. 
      
The Training Manual for Field Scientists in Papua New Guinea was written by Andrew L. Mack and Debra D. Wright (2011) and can be downloaded here

Contents of the manual include: 
CHAPTER 1: Introduction .................................................................................................... 6
CHAPTER 2: Safety ....................................................... .................................................... 8
CHAPTER 3: Introduction to Field Research ..................................................................... 12
CHAPTER 4: Basic skills ................................................................................................... 16
CHAPTER 5: Plants ........................................................................................................... 30
CHAPTER 6: Birds............................................................................................................. 43
CHAPTER 7: Mammals ...................................................................................................... 54
CHAPTER 8: Herpetofauna ............................................................................................... 67
CHAPTER 9: Insects ......................................................................................................... 74
CHAPTER 10: Introduction to Sampling and Experimental Design .................................... 78
CHAPTER 11: Introduction to Data Analysis ..................................................................... 87
CHAPTER 12: Advanced Statistics for Field Biologists .................................................... 97
CHAPTER 13: Proposal Writing ....................................................................................... 117
CHAPTER 14: How to Write a Scientific Paper ............................................................... 127
CHAPTER 15: How to Prepare an Oral Presentation or Poster ...................................... 136
LITERATURE CITED ......................................................................................................... 144
APPENDIX 1. Data Sheets ............................................................................................... 148
APPENDIX 2. Random Number Table ............................................................................... 159
APPENDIX 3. Statistical Tables ........................................................................................ 168
RAP also has other resources available, including


RAP is currently compiling a book of the field methods most recommended and used by scientists conducting RAP rapid biodiversity surveys.

Drafts of RAP methods available now for download from the Library:
A few additional references for field methods and identification aids (see also the Library):
 
Abc Taxa has recently published a comprehensive set of field methods for biodiversity assessment: Volume 8 - Manual on Field Recording Techniques and Protocols for All Taxa Biodiversity Inventories.  Abc Taxa is the product of the Belgian National Focal Point to the Global Taxonomy Initiative, but the series is the joint effort of the three main Belgian natural history institutions, being the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (Brussels), the Royal Museum for Central Africa (Tervuren) and the National Botanic Garden of Belgium (Meise).

Plants

Monitoring and Assessment of Biodiversity Program. National Zoological Park. Smithsonian Instituation. Washington, D.C. USA. http://nationalzoo.si.edu/ConservationAndScience/MAB/default.cfm

Robin B. Foster, Natalia C. Hernández , Esezah K. Kakudidi, and Robyn J.Burnham. Rapid Assessment of Tropical Plant Communities using variable transects: an informal and practical guide.
http://fm2.fieldmuseum.org/rbi/pdfs/VarTrans.pdf

Tropical Plant Guides. http://fm2.fieldmuseum.org/plantguides/

Mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians

Bennun, L, G. Davies, K. Howell, H. Newing, and M. Linkie. 2002. African Forest Biodiversity: A Field Survey Manual for Vertebrates. Earthwatch Institute, Europe. http://www.earthwatch.org/europe/downloads/Publications/African_Forest_english.pdf

Peres, C.A. 1999. General guidelines for standardizing line-transect surveys of tropical forest primates. Neotropical primates 7(1): 11-16. http://www.uea.ac.uk/~e436/Peres_Neotropical_Primates_1999.pdf

Tobler, M.W., S. E. Carrillo-Percastegui, R. Leite Pitman, R. Mares & G. Powell. 2008. An evaluation of camera traps for inventorying large- and medium-sized terrestrial rainforest mammals. Animal Conservation 11: 169-178.

Birds

Haselmayer, J. and J.S. Quinn. 2000. A comparison of point counts and sound recording as bird survey methods in Amazonian Southeast Peru. The Condor 102: 887-893.
Reptiles and Amphibians

Heyer, W.R., Donnelly, M.A., McDiarmid, R.W., Hayek, L.-A.C., & M.S. Foster, (eds.) 1994. Measuring and monitoring biological diversity. Standard methods for amphibians. Washington & London, Smithsonian Institution Press, 364 pp. 

Rödel, M.-O. and R. Ernst. 2004. Measuring and Monitoring amphibian diversity in tropical forests. I. An evaluation of methods with recommendations for standardization. Ecotropica 10: 1-14.

Ants

Agosti, D., J.D. Majer, L.E. Alonso, T. R. Schultz (eds.). 2000. Ants: Standard Methods for Measuring and Monitoring Biological Diversity. Smithsonian Institution Press. Washington, D.C. http://antbase.org/databases/publications_files/publications_20330.htm



 

     
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