Simple method for monitoring rangeland health and wildlife habitat

TitleSimple method for monitoring rangeland health and wildlife habitat
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsRiginos C., Herrick JE, Sundaresan S.R, Farley C, Belnap J
Conference NameIX International Rangeland Congress
Series TitleProceedings of the IX Internatoinal Rangeland Congress
Date Published04/2011
Conference LocationRosario, Argintina
Accession NumberJRN00583
ARIS Log Number274308
Keywordsmethods, rangeland health, rangeland monitoring, wildlife habitat

We describe a monitoring system that requires just a pencil, one page datasheet and a 1-meter stick. Data are collected using the stick at five locations on each of four 25-m transects. Vegetation cover, composition, and horizontal and vertical structure are recorded by marking simple icons on the sheet. The datasheet also allows plant density to be recorded for selected species. The datasheet is designed to allow indicators to be easily calculated on the datasheet. Most indicators require only counting, or multiplication by five. The pattern of circled cover icons on the datasheet also provides a rapid visual representation of vegetation in the 50-m diameter plot. Initial application of the protocols in Kenya and Ethiopia were successful. Workshop participants learned to collect, analyze and interpret data in as little as 3 hours. The datasheet simplifies calculation and interpretation. Standardized indicators allow for comparison across management units.