BIOM-Garten: Biodiversity monitoring of amphibians and reptiles in Austria's gardens

Duration: 10/2023 – 10/2025
Funding: Austrian Biodiversity Fund

Amphibians and reptiles are among the most endangered classes of animals worldwide. In Austria, more than half of the 21 amphibian and 15 reptile species are classified as endangered, critically endangered or threatened with extinction. Habitat destruction plays a particularly important role. Near-natural gardens are valuable refuges that have not yet been systematically researched. As part of the project, citizen science monitoring data will be collected from private areas that are otherwise inaccessible to biologists and gaps in amphibian and reptile monitoring will be closed. The data generated will be incorporated into a new Red List and the Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles of Austria. As Citizen Science data from different reporting platforms is not yet available in a standardised form and quality, a central point of the project is the consolidation and standardisation of the different reporting data to increase the quality and usability of the data. The BioCollect tool of the Biodiversity Atlas Austria serves as a collection point and data repository for the collected data. Existing interfaces enable the import and standardisation of citizen science data beyond the end of the project, in addition to amphibian and reptile monitoring in gardens. As a further contribution to biodiversity monitoring and to improving the quality of Citizen Science data, the environmental parameters for the species reports are being recorded and the role of gardens in habitat connectivity is being analysed specifically for aquatic and semi-aquatic animal groups for the first time. The environmental parameters are collected by remote sensing and by querying the Citizen Science reports. As home gardens and garden ponds are associated with the introduction and spread of alien species, the distribution of neobiota is also being recorded as part of species and habitat monitoring.

Contact: Florian Danzinger