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Monday, March 21, 2011

Welcome to Animal Monitoring Centre!


Animal Monitoring Centre (AMC) is the English name for Loomastiku Seirekeskus (LSK) (http://loomaseire.blogspot.com/) established in Tartu in February 2011.

After the resources for monitoring the populations of small terrestrial vertebrates such as amphibians, reptiles, non-flying small mammals and bats became unavailable for the experts of European boreal fauna, these experts were forced to establish their own scientific centre for animal monitoring. Thus, AMC was established in Tartu on 25 February 2011.

The work of Animal Monitoring Centre (AMC) is founded on the following main pillars: 1) well trained natural scientists, who have long experience in animal monitoring work; 2) efficient and reliable methods; 3) capacious database of monitoring data collected since the 1940s. That is why the work of AMC is always very efficient, reliable and sustainable. In fact, it is the best work available in reality.

No other known institution owns such a large database on the above-mentioned animal groups living in Estonia and other areas of boreal Europe as does AMC. This database includes observational data (including counts) on bats since 1948, amphibians since 1970, non-flying small mammals since 1977, reptiles since 1981 and large terrestrial snails since 1983.

On many animal species we have the most precise counting as well as distributional data ever collected in this part of Europe.

Our experts have gained long experience in developing and testing effective methods to monitor the populations of terrestral animals in Europe. Since 1987, they participate in the work of various international research groups, scientific forums and commissions, such as IUCN Species Survival Commission Chiroptera Specialist Group, Nordic Forum for Field Herpetology, European Hedgehog Research Group, EUROBATS Scientific Panel, Livonian Bat Group.
  
Animal counting methods such as line counting, point counting, snap trapping, cone catching and marking-recapture are widely recognized as most suitable methods for monitoring animal populations in Europe and elsewhere. Our experts have used those methods throughout decades.

During 1993-1995 our experts conducted or advised the start up of population monitoring schemes in Estonia concerning the following animal groups: amphibians, reptiles, non-flying small mammals, Siberian Flying Squirrel, bats, terrestrial molluscs and fish. All of these schemes were initially included in Estonia's National Environmental Monitoring Programme (NEMP). Unfortunately, in the course of years the efficient work of internationally recognized animal monitoring scientists has been valued successively less, as Estonia gradually destroyed the scientific grounds of its nature conservation system during the 1990s and the 2000s. As a result, science based, efficient and sustainable monitoring schemes developed by the mid-1990s were abandoned, and today's NEMP does not meet the requirements of true monitoring of animal populations as well as those of real animal conservation.

March 21, 2011

Matti Masing,
expert of European boreal fauna since 1987


Animal Monitoring Centre (AMC)
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E-mail: matti(at)ut.ee


Website in Estonian

Loomastiku Seirekeskus (LSK)
http://loomaseire.blogspot.com/