Traps, apps and maps: to what extent do they provide decision-grade data on biodiversity?



Rudman H, Hart B, English M, Turner C, Fuentes-Montemayor E & Reed MS (2022) Traps, apps and maps: to what extent do they provide decision-grade data on biodiversity?. Scottish Geographical Journal, 138 (3-4), pp. 209-227.

Ecosystem services arising from the restoration of natural capital are now increasingly recognised as environmental opportunities and monetised, with international climate negotiations focussing on the need for investment into natural capital, and the finance sector pledging to invest. The finance sector has called for decision-grade, asset level data about nature projects in order to facilitate their reporting to investors. This paper offers a case study of novel digital data collection methods used to establish a baseline of faunal biodiversity in a Scottish nature-restoration project on the Bunloit estate which has secured private natural capital investment. Digital camera traps, acoustic sensors with eDNA samples and apps were used to create digital maps to ensure annual survey replication, and citizen scientist engagement. The results were classified by both professional ecologists and citizen scientists. We discuss how the digital data gathered through traps, apps and maps in the case study can be qualified as decision-grade data, according to the Taskforce for Nature-based Financial Disclosure’s specification. We conclude that decision-grade biodiversity data may be produced by practitioners, with limited resources, and make recommendations for data collection and governance methods to ensure nature restoration projects generate decision-grade data for ecosystem services markets.

Natural capital; biodiversity net gain; asset level data; decision grade data

Scottish Geographical Journal: Volume 138, Issue 3-4

FundersScotland's Rural College
Publication date31/12/2022
Publication date online25/08/2022
Date accepted by journal05/08/2022
PublisherInforma UK Limited

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Dr Elisa Fuentes-Montemayor

Dr Elisa Fuentes-Montemayor

Senior Lecturer- Nature-based Solutions, Biological and Environmental Sciences