What are the needs for arctic monitoring?
Given the urgency of climate change in the arctic it is important to broaden the perspective of arctic monitoring to consider a wider set of goals beyond scientific knowledge. We are interviewing a broad range of stakeholders in scientific monitoring including representatives from indigenous groups, conservation organisations, decision makers and policy makers and scientists. In our interviews we address five main themes concerning pan-arctic monitoring of seabirds and terrestrial vertebrates:
- What are the strengths and weaknesses of current monitoring networks?
- What impacts do we want to generate from pan arctic wildlife observation and recording?
- How effective are scientist-driven monitoring, community-based monitoring and traditional knowledge at creating different impacts? Where are the opportunities for increasing effectiveness?
- What are the differences in needs between local and pan-arctic observation and recording programs?
We are keen to talk to a wide range of stakeholders who either produce or use monitoring information and those are affected by decisions informed by monitoring information. Please contact Helen Wheeler if you have any suggestions or comments.
How effective is current arctic monitoring in meeting people’s needs?
Effective monitoring of wildlife to create the monitoring impacts desired by stakeholders requires that resources for monitoring are attributed wisely. Investment is needed in monitoring in areas where increased knowledge will improve outcomes for arctic ecosystems and people.
Monitoring of arctic seabirds and terrestrial vertebrates across the entire arctic comprises a network of individual research sites. The work at these individual sites may be driven by aims and methods that focus on questions that are important locally. When networks of existing sites are formed to answer questions at large scales, there may be gaps in coverage of important ecological processes.
Gaps in monitoring could occur if when and where species are monitored does not reflect the full variation in biological conditions relevant to species, or the timescales over which changes occur. We will analyse how current monitoring sites are distributed through space and over time to establish where gaps in our knowledge are and how this might affect our current and future understanding of changes in arctic ecosystems.
Detection of change and observation of environments occurs in many forms. In the arctic, these include where observation and recording of change is designed and implemented by scientists, where scientists design and local people implement observation and recording and where observation and recording is driven by local people. In addition, knowledge is generated from observations made while living in arctic environments over long periods although observations may not be recorded on paper.
Different approaches to observation and recording of wildlife may have both similarities and differences in the impacts that they can create. After investigating these similarities and differences during interviews, we will address how different types of observation and recording might fill the gaps in existing monitoring networks.