VegTrack: A structured vegetation restoration activity database

Authors

  • Andre Zerger,

  • David Freudenberger,

  • Richard Thackway,

  • Damian Wall,

  • Margaret Cawsey


Andre Zerger is a Research Scientist with CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems (GPO Box 284, Canberra, ACT 2602, Australia; Tel: +61 2 6242 1691; Fax: +61 2 6242 1565; Email: andre.zerger@csiro.au). David Freudenberger is the Director of Science and Major Projects with Greening Australia (PO Box 74, Yarralumla, ACT 2600, Australia; Tel: 02 6202 1605; Email: dfreudenberger@greeningaustralia.org.au). Richard Thackway is with the Bureau of Rural Sciences Land and Forest Sciences Program (GPO Box 858, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia; Tel: +61 2 6272 4856; Email: richard.thackway@brs.gov.au). Damian Wall is the director of Red-Gum Environmental Consulting (94 Kirbys Flat Road, Yackandandah, Vic. 3749, Australia; Tel: (02) 6027 1612; Email: damian.wall@red-gum.com.au). Margaret Cawsey is with CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems (GPO Box 284, Canberra, ACT 2602, Australia; Tel: +61 2 6242 1628; Email: margaret.cawsey@csiro.au). This work is an output from the recent DEWHA funded Biodiversity Benefits Project, in addition to ongoing collaborations to develop tools and frameworks to support the improved delivery of ecological restoration and monitoring programs.

Abstract

Summary  Information about on-ground vegetation restoration activities (e.g. fencing and revegetation) is critical if natural resource management (NRM) groups are to monitor progress towards restoration targets, assess the efficacy of their interventions and adaptively learn from different actions. However, in Australia, there are few practical guidelines for recording data, making it difficult to consistently compare actions between sites and through time. Records of primary information are particularly important given the ongoing national investment in vegetation restoration activities. With the aid of six-case study areas in different landscapes, robust guidelines and tools were developed and incorporated into VegTrack, a methodology, which allows groups to develop their own vegetation restoration activity database. VegTrack differentiates spatial data from attribute data storing each in different databases (a GIS and a relational database management system respectively). We describe the process which enables NRM groups to develop their own database, and provide a Microsoft Access 2003 version of VegTrack to allow NRM groups to commence activity recording. To demonstrate the utility of the VegTrack method in different situations and to encourage consistency across study areas, we describe the application of the guidelines for several scenarios including riparian revegetation, corridors disrupted by roads and infill plantings.

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