Monitoring schemes for species of conservation concern in Flanders (northern Belgium). An overview of existing schemes and the design of a new scheme

Dirk Maes, Frederic Piesschaert, Hannes Ledegen, Sam Van De Poel, Tim Adriaens, Anny Anselin, Claude Belpaire, Jan Breine, Dimitri Brosens, Rein Brys, Luc De Bruyn, Kris Decleer, Geert De Knijf, Koen Devos, Gerald Driessens, Simon Feys, Jan Gouwy, Ralf Gyselings, Marc Herremans, Ilf JacobsIwan Lewylle, An Leyssen, Gerald Louette, Thierry Onkelinx, Jo Packet, Sam Provoost, Paul Quataert, Sanne Ruyts, Thomas Scheppers, Jeroen Speybroeck, Roosmarijn Steeman, Eric Stienen, Arno Thomaes, Koen Van Den Berge, Koen Van Keer, Wouter Van Landuyt, Gerlinde Van Thuyne, Wim Veraghtert, Dominique Verbelen, Goedele Verbeylen, Glenn Vermeersch, Toon Westra, Marc Pollet

Research output: Book/ReportReports of Research Institute for Nature and Forest

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In Flanders, 14 monitoring programs are up and running, following 8 species groups: amphibians, breeding birds, waterbirds, diurnal and nocturnal butterflies, mammals, bats, fish and vascular plants. However, an analysis showed that the existing monitoring networks are far from monitoring all European Bird and Habitat Directive species and Flemish priority species.

For the 69 species that dropped out at the time, INBO, in collaboration with ANB and Natuurpunt Studie, started a new monitoring program in 2016: An important criterion for these new monitoring networks is applicability/feasibility by trained citizen scientists.

In this report, we first give an overview of the existing monitoring networks in Flanders. Then we present the methodology we used to build scientifically based monitoring networks for the missing species.

We are now examining to what extent new monitoring techniques can be integrated into the monitoring networks for species that are difficult to monitor. These could include environmental DNA (eDNA) and other molecular identification methods (e.g. metabarcoding), automated species detection using cameras, pheromones, sniffer dogs, etc. The way we designed new monitoring schemes for policy-relevant species in Flanders can serve as an example for other countries and regions.
Original languageDutch
PublisherInstituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek
Number of pages111
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Publication series

NameRapporten van het Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek

Thematic List 2020

  • Protected nature

Thematic list

  • Fauna
  • Flora

EWI Biomedical sciences

  • B320-zoogeography
  • B290-phytogeography

Taxonomic list

  • amphibians (Amphibia)
  • butterflies (Lepidoptera)
  • higher plants (Plantae)
  • birds (Aves)
  • mammals (Mammalia)
  • fishes (Pisces)
  • beetles (Coleoptera)
  • dragonflies (Odonata)
  • snails and slugs (Gastropoda)
  • spiders (Araneae)
  • bats (Chiroptera)
  • crickets and grasshoppers (Orthoptera)
  • moths (Lepidoptera)


  • biodiversity policy

Geographic list

  • Flanders

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