McDonald-Madden (2010; TREE): Is monitoring worthwhile? The benefits of the information gained from monitoring do not always outweigh the costs of acquiring it. For example, if one’s management strategy is not dependent upon the state of the system, one does not need to monitor. Or if one is unsure about the cause of decline, it may make more sense to spend resources researching that rather than on monitoring to confirm the decline (killer whales example). One can use decision theory and decision trees to help with this problem.
[Insert image of decision tree here]
(One may still need to monitor for other reasons: legislative requirement, auditing, publicity.)