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A review of descriptions of fauna within the Sydney Basin since the First Settlement is used to illustrate the development of monitoring surveys over the last 200 years. Information about changes in fauna populations came initially from the use of inventories, using presence/absence data, then the use of ranking population status, onto the results from short-term surveys using systematic methodology and finally from surveys undertaken over longer periods of time. Such surveys, considered as repeatable and systematic, can be classed as monitoring surveys. Several such surveys are described in this paper.

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