Department of Agriculture / Department of the Interior

Forest Service / Bureau of Land Management

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Interagency - Pacific Northwest

Oregon - Washington State

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Interagency Special Status /
Sensitive Species Program (ISSSSP)

Inventory & Monitoring Protocols

Inventory protocols presented here are generally used to determine what species are present in a project area or in specific habitat types. An intended objective of these survey protocols is to provide standard survey methodology, which can be used by field personnel to determine presence/lack-of-detection for target species, and to document species locations and habitats in a consistent format. These methodologies can be used during project design to collect information about what species are present and may be affected by such projects. They can also be used during general inventories or for other efforts to determine distribution or habitat associations. Following these survey protocols will assure consistent, standardized surveys in order to have comparable and credible survey effort and data quality standards; and to assist in future protocol refinement.

Before planning or implementing any survey, it is important to determine what the objectives of the survey are and what type of information is needed from the survey in order to design a feasible and safe sampling method that will provide the best results.

Whenever possible, use published inventory and monitoring protocols for specific species, taxa group, or habitat types. When such protocols do not exist, agency personnel work with the Interagency Special Status/Sensitive Species Program (ISSSSP) regional inventory coordinator to develop a protocol to meet the sensitive and special status program objectives and needs.

Some Special Status/Sensitive species are also Survey and Manage species. A resource for inventory protocols for these species can be found at the Survey & Manage Program website.

Field Forms


Forest Service NRM TES Plants

Forest Service NRM Wildlife

Inventory Protocols


Butterflies and Moths (Order Lepidoptera)

Damselflies and Dragonflies (Order Odonata)

Snails and Slugs (Class Gastropoda)






Inventory and Monitoring Methods

Online Resources for Monitoring

There are many books on how to design, sample, and analyze natural resource data, specifically, wildlife and botanical populations. Listed here are several Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service publications.

Elzinga, C., D. Salzer, and J.W. Willoughby. 1998. Measuring and monitoring plant populations. Bureau of Land Management Technical Reference 1730-1. Denver, CO. 492 pages.

Schreuder, Hans T.; Ernst, Richard; Ramirez-Maldonado, Hugo. 2004. Statistical techniques for sampling and monitoring natural resources. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-126. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 111 p.

Holthausen, Richard; Czaplewski, Raymond L.; DeLorenzo, Don; Hayward, Greg; Kessler, Winifred B.; Manley, Pat; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Powell, Douglas S.; Ruggiero, Leonard F.; Schwartz, Michael K.; Van Horne, Bea; Vojta, Christina D. 2005. Strategies for monitoring terrestrial animals and habitats. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-161. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 34 p.

Manley, P.N.; Van Horne, B.; Roth, J.K.; Zielinski, W.J.; McKenzie, M.M.; Weller, T.J.; Weckerly, F.W.; Vojta, C. 2006. Multiple species inventory and monitoring technical guide. Gen. Tech. Rep. WO-73. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington Office. 204 p.