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Wildlife Ecology Unit

New changes for species entries in the IMPP

The Inventory and Monitoring Program Plan (IMPP) is the tool used by the Forest Service to plan inventory and monitoring activities for each National Forest and National Grassland. Last year (fiscal year 2002) was the second year for entering data into the IMPP, and it was the first year that the IMPP was web-based.

Those of you who entered data for 2002 recall that any inventory and monitoring activities for wildlife went under Terrestrial Habitat or Terrestrial Population. Under Activity Name, you entered the species name (American marten) or species group (carnivores). There was also a column called Existing Protocol where you typed in the name of the protocol used for the inventory or monitoring activity.

The entries for last year resulted in 499 combinations of activity name and protocol for Terrestrial Habitat and Terrestrial Population across all units of the Forest Service. That sounds like a lot of different species and protocols, until you look closely. Due to a lack of standardization, many species are entered several times under several different names. Protocol names are even more varied.

For example, the bald eagle has five different names: Bald Eagle, Bald eagle, Threatened Bald Eagle, Haleaeetus leucocephalus, and Bald Eagle/Osprey Survey. There are 14 protocols associated with these "five" species: Nest site search, Nest Monitoring, Nest management plan, Wintering bald eagle surveys, Mid-winter survey, Wisconsin DNR, NNF I&M Guide, NRIS Fauna, Bald Eagle,Unknown, intu, local, and regional, and N/A!!

So how many species are actually being included in the program plans? And how many protocols are actually being used? In order to determine this, we need a standard way to enter species names and protocols.

The IMPP web developers in Salt Lake City are currently working with the FAUNA module to acquire the list of standard species names currently in FAUNA. Next year, you will pick from the standard list rather than type in a species name.

For inventory or monitoring activities targeted at species groups, you will have the option of selecting the phrase Multiple Species plus one of the descriptors: raptors, carnivores, landbirds, small mammals, wading bird, amphibians, fish, and invertebrates.

Protocol names will be standardized by selecting one of the following: national, regional, state, or local. Therefore if you are doing a bald eagle mid-winter survey using the FWS protocol, you would enter "national" for the protocol name.

These changes will be in effect by October, 2003.

badger tracks

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Wildlife Ecology Unit
Author: Christina D. Vojta
Expires: none

USDA Forest Service
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