Alaska Conference - OCS, 2012 ANNUAL MEETING OF THE ALASKA CHAPTER OF THE WILDLIFE SOCIETY

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Coordinated Inventory and Monitoring on National Wildlife Refuges

Diane Granfors, Hilmar Maier, Michael Cunanan

Last modified: 2012-03-20

Abstract


National Wildlife Refuges have a long history of Inventory and Monitoring (I&M) efforts that have contributed greatly to our knowledge and understanding of Alaska’s ecosystems.  Refuge surveys are usually designed and conducted independent of other refuges and directed toward refuge-specific issues.  Recognizing that Refuge resources depend not only on conditions within boundaries, but also the surrounding landscape and external influences, the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Wildlife Refuge System is developing a nationally and regionally coordinated I&M initiative to address climate change and other large-scale issues.  National priorities for I&M include developing databases to facilitate information sharing among Refuges and their partners, conducting water resource inventories and assessments, assessing the status of abiotic inventories (i.e., baseline GIS data layers), developing a data node within the USA-National Phenology Network, and improved tracking of listed species’ status on Refuges.  These priorities overlap strongly with those identified by the Refuge biologists in Alaska and are being implemented regionally as well.  In addition, we are working to improve data management and have convened teams to address biotic inventories, phenological monitoring, and water quality and quantity monitoring for Alaska Refuges.  We intend to develop this program to coordinate I&M activities across Refuges, with Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs) and partners, to promote a better understanding of natural systems and the effects of resource management, climate change, and other stressors on those systems.

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