Suggested Monitoring Strategies
It is not possible to detail precise monitoring programmes - these will
need to be tailored to the requirements and nature of each SAC. However some general
guidelines are presented, and it is suggested that each programme should include both
broadscale ACE surveys, and fixed-quadrat photographic monitoring. These will
provide different, but complementary, information.
The ACE surveys should not attempt to assay all species - it would be
impracticable to attempt to determine the full species diversity. The time needed, and the
requirement for field identification, both preclude this approach: the results would in
any case be unreliable based on a purely visual survey. Each survey should cover a limited
number of species (certainly not more than 20, preferably rather less) which can be
unambiguously identified. The selection of species for inclusion should be based on the
criteria discussed in section III.E.4, including: species of limited geographic
distribution; species characteristic of that habitat; species of high interest
value; species known or suspected to be declining; and species at risk from known or
suspected impacts. The number of survey sites within each SAC will depend upon the range
of CFT biotopes present, and their significance in the context of that SAC. It is not
expected that all CFT biotopes present will be included.
Fixed site photographic monitoring would also be carried out at several
sites within the SAC, though since the time commitment is greater, probably at fewer sites
that the ACE survey. The number of sites, and number of replicates at each site, should be
determined on a local basis (see Hitchcock, 1998b, for guidelines on replicate numbers).