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    National forests and grasslands are home to a diverse array of wildlife. To keep tabs on the general viability and wellbeing of these inhabitants, land managers need practical, defensible monitoring protocols. Population monitoring is one method. Another is habitat monitoring, which provides critical information about the quantity and quality of key habitat attributes and often can be conducted for a lower cost than population monitoring. By using standardized protocols, biologists across jurisdictional boundaries can compare habitat monitoring results over time and among management units.
    A new, comprehensive guide meets these needs by describing monitoring principles, standard monitoring protocols and data sources, analysis approaches, and detailed examples for developing comprehensive habitat monitoring programs. The book, titled A Technical Guide for Monitoring Wildlife Habitat, includes 10 chapters that present the interdisciplinary perspectives of 24 authors, including wildlife, vegetation, and forest ecologists; silviculturists; remote sensing experts; and statisticians. The guide provides detailed steps that can aid Forest Service units in developing land management plans in compliance with the 2012 Forest Service Planning Rule, which emphasizes ecological conditions—that is, habitat— as the basis for monitoring ecological integrity of at-risk species.
    The guide is being put to use by national forests across the West and has been endorsed by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.

    Publication Notes

    • Visit PNW's Publication Request Page to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Vizcarra, Natasha; Rowland, Mary; Vojta, Christina. 2016. Watching what widlife want and need. Science Findings 181. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 5 p.


    habitat monitoring, wildlife, protocols.

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