Ecological monitoring is a key aspect of protected areas management. Completing the 4 units will set the foundation to understanding what ecological monitoring is, and how it works.
MOOC Conservation

Description

Ecological monitoring is a key aspect of protected areas management. Completing the 4 units will set the foundation to understanding what ecological monitoring is, and how it works. EM is a key component of adaptive management within a protected area, it is based on the surveillance of the environment, and consists in systematically collecting information over time, the aim being to answer one or more specific questions. It can also be implemented to compare data collected in the PA against predetermined standards in relation to a known standard, for example, a baseline condition (number of animals of a species at the beginning of the management cycle) or a desired state (what would be the optimum state of vegetation in absence of pressure?). Ecological monitoring calls on precise knowledge, it uses established techniques and requires specific data treatment.

What you’ll learn

  • What is ecological monitoring? What is it for? How should it be implemented?
  • What methods and techniques should be used? Why? How to implement them?
  • What statistic tools do I need to know to develop a good monitoring?
  • What are the particularities of monitoring depending on the environments and the species? What are the rules to follow?

Requirements

None

Course outline

Several sessions of the MOOC are organised each year.

UNIT 1 – ECOLOGICAL MONITORING AND ITS DESIGN

This unit is a general introduction to the MOOC, and it establishes the foundation to start the course well.

Sequence Description
Recommended reading
1.0 MOOC introduction General presentation of the course
1.1 Unit introduction Detailed outline of unit 1
1.2 Why do we monitor? The importance of monitoring a PA’s ecology
1.3 What is EM? EM definition, complexity and diversity
1.4 What is EM for? Possible uses of EM, examples and testimonies
1.5 Setting EM goals Values, key ecological attributes, conservation goals, indicators
  QUIZ 1A
1.6 How to choose the monitoring method? Collecting data according to the different KEAs
1.7 Sampling KEAs for EM Sampling logic, total/partial, random, stratified
1.8 Effective monitoring at the best cost How to choose according to costs and means available
1.9 Data analysis Implementation, processing, decision-making
1.10 Summary Unit 1 summary
QUIZ 1B
Exam 1 – Graded quiz on unit 1

 

UNIT 2 – STATISTICS

This unit specifically looks at EM techniques.

Sequence Description
Recommended readings
2.1 Unit introduction Unit intro – outline – goals
2.2 Statistics: basic notions Basic notions: variables, populations, samples
2.2 bis Summary and example Summary and example of sequence 2.2
2.3 Numerical summaries Frequency, exploratory analysis, median, variance
2.3 bis Summary and example Summary and example of sequence 2.3
2.4 Graphical summary Pie charts, bar charts and box plots
2.4 bis Summary and example Summary and example of sequence 2.4
2.5 Population distribution models Some population distribution models (normal, Poisson distribution, exponential), numerical summaries and models, choosing a model.
2.5 bis Summary and example Summary and example of sequence 2.5
2.6 Estimattion Estimators, calibration, method of moments, Maximum Likelihood Estimator
2.6 bis Summary and example Summary and example of sequence 2.6
2.7 Confidence intervals Estimate, confidence
2.7 bis Summary and example Summary and example of sequence 2.7
2.8 Hypothesis tests Compare theories and data
2.8 bis Summary and example Summary and example of sequence 2.8
2.9 Jolly method Jolly method
Exam 2 – Graded quiz on units 1 and 2

 

UNIT 3 – TECHNIQUES

This module lays out EM practical techniques.

 

Sequence Description
Recommended reading
3.1 Unit introduction Unit introduction – outline – goals
3.2 Basics of ecology Identifying attributes
3.3 Basics of ecology Choosing the method and the sample
QUIZ 3A
3.4 Monitoring abiotic factors Important abiotic factors, measuring techniques, uses and benefits
3.5 Monitoring plants Understanding and monitoring plant communities, the structure and the evolution of an ecosystem’s vegetation
QUIZ 3B
3.6 Monitoring large mammals: directly Direct observation methods, travelling counts, IKA, stationary counts, transects, 

presenting results, decision-making

3.7 Monitoring large mammals: indirectly Indirect methods, monitoring through tourism, villagers’ feedback, monitoring tracks and droppings, camera-traps, calling stations
QUIZ 3C
3.8 Case study: carnivores Techniques, benefits, uses
3.9 Case study: primates Techniques, benefits, uses
QUIZ 3D
3.10 Case study: aerial count Inflight inventory techniques, data processing, total or partial count, monitoring large species through satellite, drones and kites
3.11 Case study : mobile animals Techniques, collars, bands, GPS, marking, Mark and Recapture
QUIZ 3E

 

UNIT 4 – EXAMPLES OF EM

This unit illustrates the techniques presented in units 2 and 3 with a series of practical EM examples in different environments, on different species and at different scales.

 

Sequence Description
Recommended reading
4.1 Unit introduction Unit introduction – outline – goals
4.2 Levels of EM Differents possibles levels, biomes, species, means
4.3 Example of EM on different PAs: NRT Specificities and monitoring examples in several PAs
QUIZ 4A
4.4 EM example of a terrestrial PA: Nazinga Specificities and monitoring examples in a terrestrial PA
4.5 EM example in a marine PA: Aldabra Specificities and monitoring examples in a marine PA
4.6 EM example in the forest: Taï Specificities and monitoring examples in the forest
4.7 EM example in the savanna: Comoé Specificities and monitoring examples in the savanna
QUIZ 4B
4.8 EM example of populations: water-birds Specificities and monitoring examples of water-bird populations
4.9 EM example elephants Specificities and monitoring examples of elephants
4.10 20 golden rules EM golden rules
Final exam – Graded quiz based on the entire course

Institutions

MOOC Conservation
Topics
Type

Certificate

Length

5 months

Effort

-

Format

Self-paced

Location

Online

Starting date

18 January 2020

Registration

-

Cost

Free

Price

-

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