Designing a Long-term Ecological Change Monitoring Program for BC Parks
Keywords:monitoring, parks, ecological integrity, citizen science
AbstractGlobal climate changes are impacting the entire landscape and although intended as ecological reservoirs and refugia, parks and protected areas are not immune to these changes. Provincially, BC Parks’ staff identify stressors and threats in conservation risk assessments and have identified myriad challenges amplified by climate change. The role of monitoring in protected areas management in general, and with respect to climate change in particular, is identified as central to most assessment and adaptation strategies. This paper describes our work in the development and implementation of a province-wide long-term ecological change monitoring (LTEM) program that can be conducted using a hybrid scientific/citizen-science model. The intent is to help understand a) the state of ecological integrity of BC Parks on a provincial scale and b) long-term ecological change of which climate change is one of the leading causes. Although still in the preliminary stages of implementation, we reflect on some of the lessons we are learning along the way from discussions with field staff, scientists and managers in the protected areas field.
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