Using expert-elicitation to deliver biodiversity monitoring priorities on a Mediterranean island
Biodiversity monitoring plays an essential role in tracking changes in ecosystems, species distributions and abundances across the globe. Data collected through both structured and unstructured biodiversity recording can inform conservation measures designed to reduce, prevent, and reverse declines in valued biodiversity of many types. However, given that resources for biodiversity monitoring are limited, it is important that funding bodies prioritise investments relative to the requirements in any given region. We addressed this prioritisation requirement for a biodiverse Mediterranean island (Cyprus) using a three-stage process of expert-elicitation. This resulted in a structured list of twenty biodiversity monitoring needs; specifically, a hierarchy of three groups of these needs was created using a consensus approach. The most highly prioritised biodiversity monitoring needs were those related to the development of robust survey methodologies, and those ensuring that sufficiently skilled citizens are available to contribute. We discuss ways that the results of our expert-elicitation process could be used to support current and future biodiversity monitoring in Cyprus.
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