This article has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. It is in production and has not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.
Where to survey? Spatial biodiversity survey gap analysis; a multi - criteria approach
The aim of this study was to quantify the relative effort for biodiversity surveys across the public forest estate in the south-west of Western Australia. We collated information on historical surveys into a meta-database and recorded locations where surveys had been conducted in a spatial geodatabase. We then used multi-criteria modelling to rank land conservation units on the basis of relative survey effort. The results indicated that the western, particularly the south-western, parts of the study area were relatively well surveyed while eastern parts were relatively poorly surveyed. This is likely to reflect greater habitat loss and fragmentation of vegetation on the eastern margins of the forest estate where it adjoins the extensively cleared Western Australia wheatbelt. There was also an emphasis on monitoring biodiversity in forest habitats closer to the main population centres of the south-west. The results of this analysis provide a basis for assessing future survey needs for the region which should also consider: patterns of distribution in species richness; the extent, connectivity and conservation status of native vegetation; and the relative risks posed to biodiversity by infrastructure and industrial land uses. We discuss the potential limitations of the multi-criteria modelling approach in the context of our study.
PC16030 Accepted 05 February 2017
© CSIRO 2017