Managers have, over the years, searched methods with which to monitor wildlife populations that will have the best cost-performance balance for each case scenario. Monitoring techniques are of particular importance when attempting to attain either population density estimates or species richness values, since they enable management decisions to be made. It is, therefore, imperative to assess the capability of the methods employed to detect a wide range of species as a means to evaluate their cost-efficiency. Seventeen mammal species on Mediterranean farmland were sampled using three monitoring methods: camera trapping, spotlight counts and indirect indices based on track and faeces counts. The method able to detect the greatest number of species with the best cost-performance balance was the indirect index. There were no significant differences among seasons when applying the same sampling methodology. Studies analysing methods with which to monitor wildlife populations are in great demand in Europe, where attempts are gradually being made to standardise protocols, reduce field effort and costs, and maximise data potential and data gathering over the years. Our manuscript contributes towards finding a cost-effective method and a standardised field protocol to be applied in Mediterranean habitats.
Reference: AM Valente, H Binantel, D Villanua, P Acevedo (2018) Evaluation of methods to monitor wild mammals on Mediterranean farmland. Mammalian Biology 91: 23-29 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mambio.2018.03.010