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Keywords:

  • ecological monitoring;
  • indicators;
  • freshwater wetlands;
  • birds;
  • population trends

Abstract

  • 1.
    To assess the efficacy of environmental management policies and practices, there is a progressive transition from monitoring of activities towards assessment of their outcomes for the environment.
  • 2.
    Population trends of key taxonomic groups can serve as useful indicators of broader environmental integrity and health. Several necessary and desirable criteria for selecting meaningful and suitable indicators are discussed. The attributes of a range of taxa and survey methods used for their assessment are discussed with reference to these criteria.
  • 3.
    Survey methods, data holdings and analytical methods for populations of wild birds at present provide a good basis for developing indicators of the quality of fresh waters at a landscape scale. Other taxa are not necessarily any less appropriate; however, survey design and data representativeness are often limiting factors to the use of other taxa for assessing geographic and temporal trends.
  • 4.
    Taxonomic science and ecological monitoring are necessary for determining society' progress with sustainable development and for informing appropriate enhancements to policy and management practice, particularly so for fresh waters.

Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.