ARKO Areas for Red List Species - Mapping and Monitoring

Norwegian Institute of Nature Reserach (NINA) has been responsible for the project “Areas for Red List Species - Mapping and Monitoring (ARKO)” (Arealer for Rødlistearter – Kartlegging og Overvåking ) since 2003, which is part of the National Program for Mapping and Monitoring of Biodiversity. With 7 ministries represented, ARKO has been under the project group for habitat types and endangered species since 2011. ARKO is a collaboration between NINA, Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO), the Natural History Museum (UiO) and the Department of Nature Management (UMB).

Areas with concentrations of red list species - starting point for monitoring

Many endangered species in Norway occur in small numbers, in clumps in certain habitat types (hotspot habitats) and in certain parts of the country (hotspot regions). By mapping and monitoring hotspot habitats, we can effectively gain better knowledge of the status and trends of many endangered and red-listed species.

The long-term goal of ARKO is to establish continuous activities both towards mapping and monitoring of all hotspot areas in Norway and their associated red list species. The survey has the greatest focus on fungi and insects, but mosses, lichens and vascular plants are also included.

In order to achieve the 2010 goal of flattening the loss of biodiversity in Norway, it is essential that we focus on the species that are most likely to become extinct, ie the species in the highest red list categories. These are species with very few sites and poorly known biology. In order to follow the development of these species, we should direct the monitoring directly to areas where the red list species are found, and especially where they are concentrated (hotspots).

Hotspot area monitoring can be used to monitor red list species in general and the most endangered species in particular. It is important to focus on the large red list groups fungi and insects, because these together make up about 2/3 of the red list species in Norwegian nature. Hotspot habitat monitoring will capture species with narrow habitat requirements within well-defined area types, so-called habitat-specific species. For habitats with many habitat-specific species, hotspot monitoring will be able to capture many species simultaneously. Effective hotspot monitoring presupposes that we know important characteristics of the species’ habitats, and that we can measure changes in these characteristics on a scale in time and space that is relevant to the species that live there.

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