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Type: Journal article
Title: COVID restrictions impact wildlife monitoring in Australia
Author: Stenhouse, A.
Perry, T.
Grützner, F.
Rismiller, P.
Koh, L.P.
Lewis, M.
Citation: Biological Conservation, 2022; 267:109470-1-109470-10
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Issue Date: 2022
ISSN: 0006-3207
Statement of
Alan Stenhouse, Tahlia Perry, Frank Grützner, Peggy Rismiller, Lian Pin Koh, Megan Lewis
Abstract: The global COVID-19 pandemic has imposed restrictions on people's movement, work and access to places at multiple international, national and sub-national scales. We need a better understanding of how the varied restrictions have impacted wildlife monitoring as gaps in data continuity caused by these disruptions may limit future data use and analysis. To assess the effect of different levels of COVID-19 restrictions on both citizen science and traditional wildlife monitoring, we analyse observational records of a widespread and iconic monotreme, the Australian short- beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus), in three states of Australia. We compare citizen science to observations from biodiversity data repositories across the three states by analysing numbers of observations, coverage in protected areas, and geographic distribution using an index of remoteness and accessibility. We analyse the effect of restriction levels by comparing these data from each restriction level in 2020 with corresponding periods in 2018–2019. Our results indicate that stricter and longer restrictions reduced numbers of scientific observations while citizen science showed few effects, though there is much variation due to differences in restriction levels in each state. Geographic distribution and coverage of protected and non-protected areas were also reduced for scientific monitoring while citizen science observations were little affected. This study shows that citizen science can continue to record accurate and widely distributed species observational data, despite pandemic restrictions, and thus demonstrates the potential value of citizen science to other researchers who require reliable data during periods of disruption.
Keywords: Wildlife monitoring
Citizen science
Protected area
Rights: © 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2022.109470
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Appears in Collections:Ecology, Evolution and Landscape Science publications

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