About the Southeast Region Inventory & Monitoring Branch
The Southeast Region Inventory & Monitoring (I&M) Branch mission is to work collaboratively to assess the status of National Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS) lands, waters and biota and support achievement of conservation objectives at multiple spatial scales. We are specifically tasked to work closely with refuges, conservation partnerships such as Landscape Conservation Cooperatives, and other Service programs to address critical refuge information needs and evaluate effectiveness of conservation strategies on refuges.
Our primary purpose is to collect and synthesize information which supports management at multiple geographic scales and informs decisions at all organizational levels.
The I&M Branch is designed to provide the long-term data that NWRS needs to meet refuge purposes, fulfill the Refuge System’s legislated mission and mandates, support the Service’s landscape approach to conservation, and respond to climate change. The I&M Branch will document the status, assess condition, and detect changes of the NWRS’s fish, wildlife and plant communities; physical resources including water, air, and soils; and ecological processes to support science-based conservation planning and management at the local and other spatial scales.
The I&M Branch’s primary role within the Strategic Habitat Conservation framework will be monitoring the effects of management on populations and habitats on refuges with other partners across the landscape. The I&M Branch will also provide leadership in designing and implementing surveys to assess the current state of populations and identify limiting factors.
The I&M Branch will coordinate closely with Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs) to help focus on evaluation of landscape-scale conservation delivery, providing and managing data on species occurrence on refuges, quantifying impacts of non-climate stressors, and working cooperatively with LCC staff and the USGS Climate Change Response Centers on vulnerability assessments and modeling of present and projected species distributions. In the Southeast region, we are working closely with the six LCCs: Appalachian, Caribbean, Gulf Coastal Plain and Ozarks, Gulf Coast Prairie, South Atlantic, and Peninsular Florida.
FY2015 Highlights and Accomplishments
- Awarded $270,000 in regional discretionary funds and salary savings to support 21 small inventory and monitoring projects on 20 stations.
- Continuing to work with refuges to update and populate the national PRIMR and Service Catalog database.
- Assisting eight refuges with Inventory and Monitoring Plan development.
- Continuing to coordinate Coastal Wetland Elevation Monitoring data collection at 18 refuges within the South Atlantic.
- Completed the Baseline Vegetation Report (9.7MB) for the Coastal Wetland Elevation Monitoring project.
- Developed (in collaboration with Southeast Region Fire Management Division) Fire Management Species Profiles for seven species.
- Coordinated mobile acoustical bat monitoring at 56 stations in Regions 2, 3, and 4.
- Developed a Recommendations Report (270KB) for utilizing NPS Southeast Coast Network protocol for amphibian community monitoring.
- Completed Water Resource Inventory and Assessments for Erwin National Fish Hatchery, Lower Suwannee NWR and Dale Bumpers White River NWRs.
- Assisted with the development of the Integrated Waterbird Management and Monitoring national protocol framework.