MONITOR 2000 is a follow-up initiative designed to introduce this time and cost-effective amphibian monitoring method to volunteers in Hungary, and other representatives of Central & Eastern European (CEE) countries. Results from the surveys will provide baseline data on amphibian populations, identify conservation “hotspots”, management recommendations, integrate into a more comprehensive monitoring program and build awareness.
Environmental education will be one of the main pillars of MONITOR 2000. A number of schools have committed to participating in this unique and pioneering project, which combines participants from a wide range of ages, and seven countries. As the project develops, volunteer recruitment effort will be expanded, ensuring a strong network of volunteers monitoring amphibians across a wide variety of habitats in Hungary and other CEE countries.
- Training Manual/Cassette: A training cassette and manual are necessary to guide and educate volunteers through the method, and about general amphibian conservation. To date, this is lacking in Hungary. A digital recorder and parabolic microphone are necessary to produce the Master Copy, from which cassette copies will be produced. This proposal seeks to a) record, and b) produce a training cassette and manual for all 12 of Hungary’s calling amphibians, and distribute 300 copies to interested volunteers.
- Workshop: A training workshop for selected regional coordinators in the Monitor 2000 project will be planned to introduce volunteers to monitoring amphibians by sound. This will include manual/cassette distribution, and a brief practical exercise in conducting road call counts.
- Brochures/Posters/Stickers: A parallel approach to raise awareness of amphibian conservation through Monitor 2000 will be the production of 2000 stickers, 1000 colour posters, and 500 brochures outlining Hungary’s amphibian conservation issues. These will be made free of charge to participating school groups, NGOs, and other volunteers.
- Publicity: The general public will be informed through national media (TV, radio, newspapers) on the Monitor 2000 project, the threats to amphibians in general, and their importance in biodiversity. Implementation Plan of the Project: 2000 (Preparatory Phase)
April – June: record amphibian species calls from various locations in Hungary; photography for brochures/posters
July – September: editing master copy of cassette; production of 300 copies of cassette; layout of stickers, manual, brochures and posters
October – December: writing of manual and brochures; produce 300 copies of manual; initiate media campaign to recruit volunteers, regional coordinators and increase awareness; produce 2000 stickers; produce 500 copies of brochures; produce 1000 copies of posters2001 (Implementation Phase)
January – February: workshop planning and invitation; school contacts; media contacts
March: workshop; training cassette/manual distribution; begin national amphibian monitoring program with volunteers
April – August: final report writing; data compilation/analyses. In Hungary, amphibian conservation is a relatively new focus but has been recognized as an area of need. To address this problem, survey methods (road call count) were tested in Hungary during 1998.