NRAS Conservation - Natural Resources Assessments Surveys

Methods | Surveys in the Marshall Islands



Data collected


Coral and fish biodiversity

Record presence - absence (corals) and semi-qualitative abundance (fish) for all species

Timed swims by experts

Line intercept transects for coral and benthos

Records of distance since interception, percent cover

4 x 50m line, life form, genera and target species level of identification

Belt transects for invertebrates

Counts of target invertebrates

4 x 50m line, 5m width, target species identification

Belt transects for fish (ID, size and abundance)

Fish counts, commercially important species, size estimation

4 x 50m line; length - biomass conversion

Algae density

Percent cover and semi-quantitative abundance for major species

Algae quadrats (25 x 25 cm)

Macrofauna time swims

Counts of sharks, rays, napoleon wrasses, giant groupers, tunas off transects, size estimation

30' time swims

Reef health transects

Counts of Acanthaster planci, (Crown- of- thorns starfish), Drupella sp., dead coral and bleached and diseased coral

4 x 50m line, target species level of identification

Reef Check

Global volunteer reef health assessment scheme (

Low detail assessment, ideal for community participation and training. Details see website.

Sites connectivity

Target species of damselfish

Genetic analysis of different populations of a species from different areas and atolls



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