The National Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS) Inventory & Monitoring (I&M) Initiative and Southeast Region I&M Network has made a strong commitment to data management and has provided resources to streamline data entry and storage and, when appropriate, increase the availability of data. Data management refers to the framework by which data are acquired, maintained, and made available.
Southeast Region I&M Network staff are developing, testing, and using a number of data management systems to help the NWRS accomplish mission goals and inform management decisions at all levels. Some of the current data management efforts being conducted by Southeast I&M Network staff include the PRIMR database, Refuge ESA species database, and Service Catalog database.
The Inventory and Monitoring Policy directs each refuge to produce a standardized inventory and monitoring plan. The Planning and Review of Inventory & Monitoring on Refuges (PRIMR) database was developed to streamline the process of developing these plans. The PRIMR database can be used by regional and national I&M staff to identify common survey activities occurring across the NWRS. The database will also be beneficial to field stations that want to link their inventory and monitoring activities to specific refuge goals and objectives.
In the Southeast region, I&M Network and refuge staff have cataloged over 1,300 biological surveys on all Southeast refuges. For more information about PRIMR, please contact the I&M Network data managers, Steve Holzman or Kristine Evans. The PRIMR fact sheet (335KB) is also available for download.
The Southeast Region I&M Network is contributing to a NWRS I&M Initiative effort to develop a comprehensive list of species classified under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) that currently occur or have historically occurred on refuges. The Natural Resource Program Center (NRPC), home of the NWRS I&M Initiative, compiled ESA species listed in refuge Comprehensive Conservation Plans and in the national Threatened and Endangered Species System (TESS) database.
In 2013, Southeast region refuges reviewed their respective lists, made any necessary corrections and additions, and noted if species were currently being monitored. Corrections/additions are currently undergoing assessment by the USFWS Ecological Services division. These efforts will help inform I&M monitoring priorities, as well as enhance the TESS database system for national tracking of endangered species.
The 2010 Strategic Plan for Inventories and Monitoring on National Wildlife Refuges highlights the importance of assembling legacy datasets to be used for biological planning and conservation design. Historically important and management relevant information that potentially could be lost should be centrally archived on a secure system. The Service Catalog (ServCat) is a centralized web application that compiles documents and organizes legacy datasets, such as reports, surveys, databases, geospatial data and images. This information about the Service or used by the Service will be housed in ServCat.
ServCat will be an integral part of the Environmental Conservation Online System (ECOS) suite of web applications and the ECOS Development Team will provide the central point of access and hosting support for ServCat. Population of this database is currently underway with pilots being conducted on refuges.
The Southeast Region I&M Network is working with the NWRS Natural Resource Program Center and refuges to conduct pilots and start population of ServCat. At this time, over 4,300 Southeast refuge documents (including annual narratives and Comprehensive Conservation Plans) have been archived into the database.
For more information about ServCat, please contact the I&M Network data managers, Steve Holzman or Kristine Evans, or view the ServCat fact sheet (375KB) . To learn more about refuge annual narratives and ServCat, please contact I&M senior wildlife ecologist, Mike Chouinard.