National Wildlife Refuge System

Inventory and Monitoring

Banding mourning doves at Forsythe Refuge, NJ

Installing sediment elevation tables, Pinckney Island Refuge, SC

Underwater measurements at Rose Atoll Marine National Monument, Pacific

Volunteers in Action

The Refuge System Inventory and Monitoring initiative works with partners to assess the status of refuge lands, waters, plants and animals, and support conservation objectives at local, regional and national levels.

Most wildlife refuges do not have a comprehensive baseline inventory of the fish, wildlife and plants that live there. To effectively conserve resources, we need to understand the abundance and distribution of species and their interactions with habitat as well as the trends caused by environmental change. Good decision-making requires robust inventory and monitoring.

The Inventory and Monitoring (I&M) initiative was established in 2010 to gather, analyze and disseminate scientifically rigorous biological data on national wildlife refuges.  We are guided by a strategic plan and operational blueprint while we rely on a mid-range planning document, the I&M 7-Year Plan, to set the work agenda.  The I&M Branch, which provides the national direction for the initiative, is a division of the Natural Resource Program Center, which also includes the branches of Air Quality, Human Dimensions and Water Resources. 

Current Priorities and Projects

Resources for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Employees


For information on the national Inventory & Monitoring program, contact:

For information on the regional programs contact:

Last updated: August 2, 2013