|Managers' Monitoring Guide|
How to Design a Wildlife Monitoring Program
This web site has trails and links to many topics. To help you navigate the site and to guide you in developing a long-term monitoring strategy we STRONGLY suggest that, before you begin exploring this web site, you download or print out one of the worksheets. These worksheets step you through the process of creating a monitoring program and link you to different sections of the web site.
If you don't use our worksheets then we suggest that you use our site guide as a base of operations for exploring this site. Finally, you can also glean much of the information by sequentially going through the following 4 questions which lead through the web site's major topic areas, but be warned that it is easy to get lost amongst the links.
About this site:
This site is designed to be a readily understood guide to the concepts, philosophies, and approaches that must be contemplated when designing a new monitoring program or in evaluating an existing one. The intended audience is biologists, managers, and anyone contemplating the creation of a monitoring program. Our focus is on promoting a conceptual understanding of the "whys" and "hows" of monitoring the status of wildlife species and communities rather than on the details. We cover topics regarding site selection, layout of points/plots, numbers of samples to take, which species to choose, adaptive management versus status monitoring issues and an expanding listing of counting techniques, detailing the pros, cons, and biases associated with each.
If you have a specific project in mind, it is strongly recommended that you start by downloading the worksheets at the beginning. You can use the worksheet as a navigation guide to the site, and by answering the questions in the worksheet you can create an outline of your proposed monitoring program. That outline can then be taken to a statistician for further review and development. We hope that your consultations with a statistician and our links and listings of resources will permit you to obtain the details after you have settled on a general approach.
We are always interested in updating our links and in learning how we can better integrate our site with others so please write us with your suggestions. Finally, we are very interested in expanding our techniques pages to other species groups and approaches. Please write us with suggestions or to volunteer to author a new one. Thank you.
Funds for the creation of this site were given by the USGS Status and Trends Program, with a specific goal of assisting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Wildlife Refuge System in implementing the Comprehensive Conservation Planning program. In addition to a number of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regional and refuge biologists we would like to acknowledge the following reviewers for their many helpful comments and suggestions: Kimberly Carter, Paul Geissler, Marshall Howe, Christine Hunter, Robin Jung, Pat Manley, Priya Nanjappa, Jim Nichols, Mike Runge, John Sauer, and Mark Wimer. We would also like to acknowledge the efforts of the techniques' authors, many of whom volunteered their services. Finally, we would like everyone to know that the formatting, coding, layout, and design of the site was created by Laura Moore.
Another Interior site that tackles many of the same issues has been put together by the National Park Service and is worth visiting.
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U.S. Department of the Interior
U.S. Geological Survey
Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Laurel, MD USA 20708-4038
Contact Sam Droege, email email@example.com
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