Without monitoring we are guided by hunches and anecdote, rather than by real evidence that we are doing what we have set out to do. It makes sense, therefore, to establish a monitoring framework at the same time that you set out your project plan; this will allow you to evaluate progress towards your group’s objectives. Proof of progress will help you attract and keep volunteers, get funding and, at the very least, remind you on those cold muddy mornings why you are even bothering.
Monitoring also contributes to the general understanding of our environment and how it responds to our efforts. For instance, knowing what food resources are available at a site may provide valuable insights on that factors influence the success of any species translocations, informing ongoing
work and other similar projects.
Monitoring is important and it pays to record as much as you can to build up a database which may identify likely invasion routes, areas of preferred habitat which will assist with planning of control operations. Also monitor your long term goals with flora and fauna surveys – these are extremely useful when canvassing for funds. You can see differences in bird numbers after one breeding season.