Sunday, September 7, 2008

National Park Service Inventory and Monitoring Program

National Park managers across the country are confronted with increasingly complex and challenging issues that require a broad-based understanding of the status and trends of each park’s natural resources as a basis for making decisions, working with other agencies, and communicating with the public to protect park natural systems and native species. As part of the National Park Service’s effort to “improve park management through greater reliance on scientific knowledge” the Inventory and Monitoring (I&M) Program has been created to collect, organize, and make available natural resource data and to contribute to the Service’s institutional knowledge by facilitating the transformation of data into information through analysis, synthesis, and modeling. Because most units in the National Park System do not have enough personnel or resources to do this alone, regional teams have been created to accomplish the goals of the Inventory and Monitoring Program.

Homestead National Monument of America is one of fifteen units in the National Park System in the Heartland Network and Prairie Cluster Prototype. The Heartland Network conducts mammal, fish, bird, and vegetation surveys at Homestead NM of America.

In May and June of 2008 and 2009, staff from the Heartland Network and Prairie Cluster Prototype will conduct a “point count” to record the kinds and numbers of birds on the prairie and in the woodlands at Homestead NM of America. Prairie bird species are on the decline and the “point count" will help Homestead management determine sound management practices. The count will be taken at specific spots on the prairie and in the woodlands by standing in one spot for five minutes, listening and watching, and then recording the observations. Heartland Network staff will conduct the “point count” again in 2013 and 2014. In 2010, 2011, and 2012 volunteers will conduct “point count” using the exact same “points” and procedures.


Links:

Heartland Network Inventory & Monitoring Program
http://science.nature.nps.gov/im/units/htln/

Vital Signs Monitoring

http://science.nature.nps.gov/im/monitor/index.cfm

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