Checklists are widely used to catalog field observations of plants and animals. We used 25 years of bird checklist data from the Etudes des Populations d'Oiseaux du Quebec program to examine the ability of checklists to produce reliable conservation, management, and ecological information. We found that checklists can provide reliable information on changes in bird populations, phenology, and geographic and climate abundance patterns at local, regional, and continental scales. Professional and amateur conservation groups that need to develop extensive monitoring programs should take advantage of the fact that checklists, unlike other time-consuming and expensive techniques, can be used to detect large-scale changes in an entire community of species.
Additional publication details
Checklists: An under-used tool for the inventory and monitoring of plants and animals