Journal article

When have we looked hard enough? A novel method for setting minimum survey effort protocols for flora surveys

Georgia E Garrard, Sarah A Bekessy, Michael A McCarthy, Brendan A Wintle



There is now a substantial body of literature documenting the detectability of plants and animals under standard survey conditions. Despite the evidence that many flora and fauna species have detection probabilities of less than one, it is still the default assumption of most environmental impact assessment processes that if a species is present, it will be detected. Here we briefly review a number of existing studies that have estimated the survey effort necessary to detect animal species, based on what is known about their detection rates in standard surveys. We then propose a novel method, based on failure-time analysis, for quantifying the detectability of and determining appropriate sur..

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Awarded by Australian Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

We would like to thank Josh Dorrough, Bill Langford, Ascelin Gordon and Darryl MacKenzie for statistical advice and constructive comments. This research is supported by an Australian Postgraduate Award (Industry) scholarship and is part of an Australian Research Council grant (LP0454979) for which there are a number of industry partners: the Department of Sustainability and Environment Victoria; Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority; Hume City Council; the City of Whittlesea; and Stockland property developers. We would also like to thank the Holsworth Wildlife Research Fund for additional support. This work forms part of the Applied Environmental Decision Analysis (AEDA) CERF collaboration supported by the Commonwealth Department of Environment and Water Resources.