The use and utility of surrogates in biodiversity monitoring programmes.


A workshop was held to explore the utility of surrogates in biodiversity conservation-focused monitoring programmes. This paper focus on reporting the perspectives arising from the workshop, to bridge the gap between research and effective practice of surrogacy in biodiversity monitoring and conservation. Through understanding the perceived extent and factors influencing surrogate use in biodiversity monitoring programmes, six problems limiting the identification and implementation of surrogates are identified, and operationally focused recommendations are made for improving surrogate use in monitoring programmes., These recommendations include terminology impeding communication, ambiguous targets, complex targets informed by multiple variables, risk of organizational knowledge loss, insufficient resources for surrogate evaluation, planners/ policymakers, scientists and land managers working in isolation. Despite differences between academic and practitioner perceptions of surrogate use in monitoring programmes, the workshop showed that surrogates are frequently used to assess programme targets. It is critical that organizations undertaking biodiversity monitoring identify if and how their programmes rely on surrogacy.

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