In assessments of mine site restoration success, animals are often overlooked and assumed to return following the return of vegetation. This is commonly known as the Field of Dreams hypothesis, as in practice, recovering biodiversity to a level representative of the pre-disturbance system can be a very challenging task. Among existing studies, there is a focus towards assessing species diversity or abundance in restored habitats; however, this may be limited in its ability to show whether restoration is supporting animal populations long term, or if these areas are only in opportunistic use.
So, how can we assess behaviour of animals in restored mine sites, and how can this be used to help understand the longer term success of restoration efforts? I recently presented on my research at the 2019 8th World Conference on Ecological Restoration in Cape Town, South Africa. You can view the talk here: