Monitoring is essential to effective and efficient conservation: we need to know the effects of our actions on wildlife, from the benefits of actions to recover species to the consequences of authorizing harm. Under a law like the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA), monitoring may be a formal process that must occur every five years. It may also include compliance monitoring for the thousands of activities that are authorized under the ESA every year and that affect lsited species.
In the Center for Conservation Innovation at Defenders of Wildlife, we work at the intersection of science, technology, and policy to improve conservation monitoring.