Rewilding Monitoring

Rewilding is a conservation approach to restore ecological processes and reduce human control of landscapes. Whether you’re passively rewilding, or including active intervention through land management or species reintroduction, rewilding can lead to greater species diversity, and increased abundance across various species groups (such as insects, mammals and birds).

Monitoring approaches

Despite there being less direct management of land through a rewilding approach, the success of these projects hinges on our ability to monitor and understand the complex dynamics of these restored ecosystems.

Unless you have a target to protect or introduce a specific species, you may not have biodiversity targets to aim for. More often, you are trying to have a positive net effect on plant and animal diversity. Understanding your land is critical to planning the most appropriate monitoring approach for you. This requires careful consideration of the specific goals of the project, the characteristics of the ecosystem, and the resources available.

1. Efficiency and Effectiveness: Different ecosystems and species require different monitoring approaches. Choosing the most appropriate method ensures that the monitoring is both effective in gathering the necessary data and efficient in terms of resources used.

2. Minimizing Disturbance: Rewilding aims to restore ecosystems to their natural state, with minimal human intervention. Therefore, it’s important to choose monitoring methods that cause the least disturbance to the wildlife and their habitats.

3. Data Quality: The quality of the data collected is paramount in informing rewilding strategies. It is important to gather sufficient data to learn insights and see trends, as well as standardising your approach so that it is repeatable and can be measured in subsequent years in the same manner. The right monitoring approach will provide accurate, reliable data that can help assess the health of the ecosystem, track the progress of the rewilding project, and guide future conservation efforts.

4. Cost-Effectiveness: It’s important to choose a monitoring approach that provides the best value for money. This doesn’t always mean choosing the cheapest option, but rather the method that provides the most useful and reliable data for the resources invested.

5. Adaptability: Ecosystems are dynamic and can change rapidly. Therefore, the chosen monitoring approach needs to be adaptable to changing conditions. This could mean using methods that can monitor a wide range of species, or techniques that can be used regardless of how the landscape evolves.

Initial surveying of land and wildlife will help you baseline your current levels of biodiversity, from which you can then perform regular monitoring to understand the change over time.

Baseline Monitoring

Baseline monitoring is a crucial aspect of any environmental or conservation project, including rewilding initiatives. It involves the collection of data at the start of a project to establish a “baseline” or reference point against which future changes can be compared.

1. Understanding the Initial State: Baseline monitoring provides a comprehensive understanding of the initial state of the ecosystem before any intervention takes place. This includes information about the species present, their abundance, the condition of the habitat, and other ecological parameters. This knowledge is essential for planning the rewilding project and setting realistic goals.

2. Measuring Change: By establishing a baseline, we can measure changes in the ecosystem over time. This allows us to assess the impact of the rewilding project and determine whether it is achieving its objectives. For example, if the goal is to increase the population of a certain species, baseline monitoring can provide the initial population size against which future population sizes can be compared.

3. Identifying Trends: Baseline monitoring can help identify trends and patterns in the ecosystem. This can provide valuable insights into the natural dynamics of the ecosystem, such as seasonal variations in species populations, or how habitat change impacts other species. Understanding these trends can help inform the rewilding strategy and anticipate potential challenges.

Baseline monitoring provides the foundation for measuring progress, understanding ecological dynamics, and informing adaptive management over time. Without a clear baseline, it would be difficult to assess the impact of rewilding efforts or make informed decisions about the project’s direction.

Why Bioacoustic Monitoring?

Bioacoustic monitoring is a non-invasive method that involves recording and analysing the sounds produced by animals in their natural habitats. This technique provides an acoustic window into the lives of animals, revealing insights about their behaviour, population trends, and overall health of the ecosystem.

Bioacoustic recording devices can be deployed in the field for extended periods of time, collecting recordings of wildlife and their surroundings. Our analysis helps you track species composition of bats and birds, and the number of vocalisations made by each species.

Traditional surveying techniques call for documenting species encounters through point-counts or transects. Not only are you limited by the number of site visits you can make, animal behaviour may be affected by your presence. When recordings are not collected, it is difficult to scrutinise evidence to confirm rare species, or those which are difficult to ID.

Recorders are non-invasive and have little impact on animal behaviour. We help take all of the heavy lifting out of the process for you, providing easy to use recording units, and analyse the large quantity of recordings to deliver results quickly, with human verification processes in place to ensure reliable results.

Trusted by leading conservation groups, businesses and landowners across the UK

Case Study: Bioacoustic monitoring at Tolworth Court Farm, a pioneering urban rewilding project transforming the landscape & reconnecting people with the natural world. We delivered cutting edge monitoring services to benchmark biodiversity, species distribution, and identify species of conservation concern, so that biodiversity change can be accurately measured over time.

Delivered in partnership with Citizen Zoo, Kingston Council and The Community Brain

High Quality Reporting and Insights to better understand your rewilding.

• Biodiversity and species insights

• Benchmark biodiversity levels and record change over time.

• Identify species of conservation and legal importance.

• See wildlife trends and learn from your land.

• Information on species and guidance for sustainable and nature-friendly land management.

Want to learn more?

Interested in monitoring or want to hear about our services? Please get in touch with us here, or select the link below to learn more.