In our efforts to conserve biological diversity, we continually need to ask the question: How is it doing? That is, we need an efficient set of measurements - or indicators - that will tell us about the health and integrity of biodiversity and the actions to ensure biodiversity conservation and sustainable use in any given place.
Biodiversity indicators help us measure and monitor a) pressures or threats, such as trends in land and water use, habitat loss or invasive species, b) the state of species and ecosystems, such as the health of species or integrity of ecosystems, c) the conservation response, such as the protection of important biodiversity areas, and/or d) benefits to people, such as the ecosystem services that freshwater provides. Fine scale indicators may be developed to inform local decisions on the ground, such as determining the degree to which restoration or management practices are working. Broad scale indicators that aggregate information may be developed to report on the benefits of national environmental policy and conservation investments.