Ecological monitoring

This aspect of applied ecology for enhanced environmental management is important and will become increasingly important in future. Monitoring should not be confused with surveys. Monitoring aims at observing trends and progress of an environmental management plan or a biodiversity management action. Monitoring entails a pro-active process and is very difficult to base on hindsight observations. Monitoring will become increasingly integrated in legislation for environmental management and will deserve more attention in future. Distinct methodology pertains to monitoring to afford measuring trends at specified areas over time.

Ecological Management Plan and Biodiversity Action Plan

Ecological management plans and biodiversity plans are essential for identifying and assessing management options to be taken after ecological impacts, ecological conditions and general impacts of development at a site have been compiled. Ecological management plans include: a description of the biophysical attributes of an area such as topography, climate, habitats and the aspects of the flora and fauna that are to be considered in the avoidance, mitigation and management of impacts. Management options aimed at enhancing the biodiversity at an area are included in the recommendations and conclusions. Action plans state the operational objectives but also give an indication of indicators measuring success of implementing management actions. Relevant objectives that address avoidance, mitigation and remediation of impacts on ecosystems are given in the Ecological Management Plan. For example monitoring and eradication of alien species are included.