A bird is the hand is worth how many in the bush?

Protected areas underpin many global conservation efforts, but do they work? Despite significant investment in protected area networks, it is often unclear whether national parks and other protected areas are effective in maintaining their biodiversity values. Long-term monitoring data are critical for determining whether protected areas are able to achieve their objectives. The problem is that in most cases, these long-term data ‘officially’ do not exist. The good news is that even though ‘official’ data sets collected by scientists often don’t exist, ‘unofficial’ observations made by keen ‘amateur’ naturalists are sometimes readily available. Can these citizen-science records shed any light on the effectiveness of protected areas? We examined the value of bird lists in assessing impact in Australia’s Wet Tropics and found they can make a real contribution!

So how are they going?

Read more in the article in decision point or check out the paper:

Barnes, M., Szabo, J.K., Morris, W.K. & Possingham, H. (2015) Evaluating protected area effectiveness using bird lists in the Australian Wet Tropics. Diversity and Distributions, 21, 368-378.

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