RML Survey Forms



Considerations

The forms were designed to be a tool to help private landowners discover the creatures that share their land, while also increasing the collective knowledge about these creatures’ ranges and distributions for the conservation community. The surveys were not designed to statistically compare one site to the next. To a statistician, the rating is arbitrary, but the highest scores will be the properties harboring the greatest biodiversity. The structure and content of the forms are meant to be user friendly and universal for professional biological consultants; they utilize straight forward metrics that are not too specialized and are applicable to all types of natural communities. Each survey has a unique set of instructions. The primary scoring factor is biodiversity, how many species and what type of species, rare or common. There are metrics in the indices that were included to measure threats and overall habitat conditions that the creatures on the land may face.

Not All Properties Are Created Equal

Don’t be discouraged if your property is in a different league than some of the highest scoring properties—certain habitats will be more biologically diverse than others. Wetlands will harbor more diversity than a forest. Larger properties will generally have more biodiversity (because they probably have a greater diversity of habitats). You can increase your RML score (keep an eye out for suggestions on the RML Land Management page), but not significantly—your woodlot will never be home to as many plants and animals as wetland-meadow complex. Your score will be valuable as a baseline and your survey results will help you formulate a plan for stewarding your land.

Another Good Outcome

The difficult plight of graduating field-biology majors is little known. There are many applicants for few full time jobs. Many leave the field; those determined, take on low wage seasonal or term positions for several years to eventually land a job with a starting salary under 40K. Rate My Land wants to help. Their skill sets and knowledge of the natural world are valuable; they just need the outlets. Consider contacting a RML consultant today and receive the benefits of their dedication.

Stages

These survey forms will likely evolve over time as more consultants participate and communicate with RML about what works and what needs tweaking. The Invertebrate Diversity Assessment, in particular, can’t be adequately compared or ranked until more RML Invertebrate Assessments in different regions are compiled. Therefore, they will be given an initial score to be reported on the website, but those scores may be modified when more comparisons are available. Expect to see different versions of the RML survey forms in the future. Only consultants who have registered with RML and have been approved are able to submit scores for the RML rating page. Anybody, though, can see the survey forms, which can be downloaded below.