NINA monitors biodiversity and ecosystem change using innovative and traditional methods, and provides knowledge for more sustainable management of nature.
It is important to monitor the natural environment in order to document how crucial characteristics of nature changes over time, both due to natural and man-made influences. NINA monitors both wildlife and ecosystems and contributes to the knowledge base for more sustainable management of nature.
By nature monitoring we mean repeated observations or measurements of given characteristics of species, habitat types or ecosystems carried out according to specified and standardized methods. Such monitoring can include population size, genetics, life history parameters or condition of management-relevant species. The monitoring may also include various targets for species composition or functions in important or unique ecosystems.
Monitoring a changing environment
Long-term monitoring of the natural environment can give us a better basis for understanding how nature changes over time. The monitoring itself will not be able to reveal the cause of observed changes which may be due to long-term changes in nature, short-term natural disturbances such as storms or fires, or various human activities such as changes in land use, pollution or climate impact. However, monitoring can show which impacts are likely and provide a basis for more detailed studies of the causes of change.
Environmental monitoring in Norway - national monitoring programmes
NINA's researchers are responsible for the academic plan and much of the implementation of monitoring of several important animal populations such as the large carnivores, deer, arctic foxes, seabirds, salmonids and a number of endangered and alien species. NINA's researchers are also responsible for, or participate in, monitoring various habitat types and ecosystems on land and in water. This is partly to follow the development of these ecosystems in general, but also to demonstrate whether management measures, such as the restoration of ecosystems, have the desired effect.
The results from NINA's monitoring activities are included in a number of different research projects in NINA and other institutions, as well as in the knowledge base for the management of species and habitat types. Many of the results are also included in Norway's official reporting on the state of Norwegian nature and biological diversity to international conventions and agreements.