Ecological Archives A025-078-A1

Katherine J. Willis, Alistair W. R. Seddon, Peter R. Long, Elizabeth S. Jeffers, Neil Caithness, Milo Thurston, Mathijs G. D. Smit, Randi Hagemann, and Marc Macias-Fauria. 2015. Remote assessment of locally important ecological features across landscapes: how representative of reality? Ecological Applications 25:12901302. http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/14-1431.1

Appendix A. Field data sampling methods in Cusuco and Mahamavo.

Field data sampling methods in Cusuco and Mahamavo

Operation Wallacea is conducting a programme of long-term biodiversity monitoring in Cusuco and Mahamavo. In these sites, similar spatial sampling strategies and field methods are used. In each site, a number of sample routes (each approximately 4 km long) have been established and stratified by elevation, land cover classes and disturbance level. For some sampling activities the routes are sample units, whereas for others, the routes are paths used to access sample sites.

In order to characterise paterns of species with low detectability and to be able to draw valid inferences about trends in relative abundances, all sample units are sampled on repeated occasions during a field season. In the field, spatially-referenced observations are recorded on paper data sheets, which are then entered into a custom database. This permits the field data to be queried in multiple ways and combined with ancillary spatial data for further analysis.

Reptiles and amphibians are sampled by walking sample routes on multiple occasions by day and night, as well as by opportunistic searches. When a reptile or amphibian is found, it is identified and recorded with its location. Birds are surveyed using 10 minute early point counts in 150 sample sites on at least 3 occasions per year. When a cluster of birds is detected, the species, group size, distance to birds, method of observation (seen, heard) and site coordinates are recorded. Mammals are sampled by walking sample routes on multiple occasions by day and night, as well as by opportunistic searches. When a mammal is found, it is identified and recorded with its location. Mammals are also recorded opportunistically and by mist netting bats and pitfall trapping small mammals.


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