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Choosing among long-term ecological monitoring programs and knowing when to stop
 

Possingham, H.P., Fuller, R.A. & Joseph, L.N. 2012. Choosing among long-term ecological monitoring programs and knowing when to stop. Pp. 498-508 in: Gitzen, R.A., Millspaugh, J.J., Cooper, A.B. & Licht, D.S. Design and Analysis of Long-term Ecological Monitoring Studies. Cambridge University Press.

    There is a large body of scientific literature setting out the reasons why long-term ecological monitoring is important and describing sophisticated and useful approaches for conducting it. Long-term ecological monitoring is generally considered an essential tool for the effective management of biodiversity. In this chapter, however, we ask two slightly different and somewhat controversial questions. First, how do we identify which long-term ecological monitoring programs are more worthwhile than others? There are limited resources to fund monitoring and choices must be made. Second, how do we know when we should stop monitoring, if ever? So few examples of successful long-term monitoring exist that the idea of stopping monitoring sounds like heresy, but if the benefits are diminishing and the effort could be better used elsewhere, why not?

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