About the Southeast Region Inventory & Monitoring Network
The Southeast Region Inventory & Monitoring (I&M) Network 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 Network is being 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 Network 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 Network’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 Network will also provide leadership in designing and implementing surveys to assess the current state of populations and identify limiting factors.
The I&M Network 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.
- Awarded $340,000 in regional discretionary funds and salary savings to support refuge interns and 25 small and large inventory and monitoring projects on 33 stations.
- Worked with refuges to populate the national PRIMR, ServCat, and ESA databases.
- Coordinated mobile acoustical bat monitoring at 45 stations in Regions 2, 3, and 4.
- Completed mussel surveys at Pond Creek NWR and pilot amphibian surveys at Roanoke River NWR.
- Coordinated and trained 18 refuges to collect data from 60 RSET benchmarks and established permanent vegetation monitoring plots at all RSET sites.
- Participated in region efforts to determine efficient methods to sample gopher tortoises.
- Worked with the Region 4 Fire team to complete the Southeast Region Fuels Treatment Effects Monitoring Plan and Field Guide.
- Provided Water Resource Inventory and Assessment information to refuges; WRIAs are in progress for Erwin National Fish Hatchery, Cache River NWR, Lower Suwannee NWR, Okefenokee NWR, and White River NWRs. WRIA for Cahaba River NWR is currently in draft and Cape Romain NWR is complete.
- Assisted with development of the Migratory Bird Program Wildlife Health Event Reporter online database for reporting of wildlife mortality events.
- Contributed to the implementation of an eastern node of the Avian Knowledge Network.
- Collaborated closely with the Gulf Coastal Plains and Ozarks Landscape Conservation Cooperative to expand and refine the Lower Mississippi Valley Joint Venture Forest Management Database.
- Reviewed the South Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative indicator species process.
- Lauded for closely mirroring the National Wildlife Refuge System Inventory and Monitoring Initiative Blueprint for implementation.
- Fully staffed with field ecologists co-located on refuges and distributed across the region to facilitate implementation of the I&M vision.