Scientists and locals collaborating to monitor biodiversity

Specialists used to be reluctant to include local people in biodiversity monitoring process, citing concerns about lack of knowledge and scientific rigor. But initiatives such as the Participatory Biodiversity Monitoring Project, which provides capacity building and transfers high quality skills, is changing that reality.

Organized by the PCAB’s implementing partner, IPÊ, in partnership with ICMBio, 18 participants from different backgrounds have been trained in field safety, photographic traps and the particularities of the forest itself in Rondônia’s Jamari National Forest, during a course that was held between August 6th and August 10th. Local monitors were trained in data collection using protocols created to facilitate information gathering. The use of photographic traps makes it possible to improve understanding of the impacts caused by forest management (sustainable timber extraction) on large and medium sized mammals, as well as on game bird populations.

Stéfany Ancker, from the Rondônia Federal Institute (IFRO), was among the trainees and was pleased to have improved her knowledge of GPS and photo traps: “It was a privilege to take part in the course and to be able to contribute in some way to the biodiversity monitoring. The teaching was excellent with interactions from all sides. We’ve made friends and worked as a team”. This training event is one among many being implemented across 15 protected areas to strengthen particularly biodiversity monitoring, based on national protocols and scientific rigor.