An overview of survey design and key methodological considerations
Freshwater habitats are vitally important for vertebrate diversity and ecosystem service provision. These habitats are diverse in scale and type, ranging from vast wetlands and tropical flooded forests to small streams and ponds, but are all equally important to the diverse range of vertebrates they support. The loss and degradation of freshwater habitats globally, largely driven by agricultural intensification, land-use change and deforestation, threatens vertebrates and the continued functioning of freshwater ecosystems. Well-informed, evidence-based conservation is reliant on suitably designed surveys capable of detecting population changes in target species. Due to the diversity and complexity of freshwater habitats and their associated vertebrate taxa a comprehensive review of all methods for all species is beyond the scope of this chapter. However, here we outline key considerations and methods for surveying vertebrates in freshwater systems and provide signposts to relevant case studies and resources to help plan successful monitoring programmes for freshwater vertebrates.
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