The forests and prairies of Devils Tower National Monument provide habitat for mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects and fish. Look for deer beneath the shady forest canopy or visit the prairie dogs in their town along the river. Even the Tower offers a home for birds, small rodents and the occasional reptile.
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What is NPSpecies?
NPSpecies is a web-based tool for documenting the occurrence and status of species in national parks. NPSpecies gives parks a way to build, manage, maintain, and share park species lists. As part of the IRMA Portal (Integrated Resource Management Applications), NPSpecies can be accessed at https://irma.nps.gov/NPSpecies/.
Much of the data currently in NPSpecies has been entered by Inventory & Monitoring Program networks. Sources of information include species inventories, monitoring projects, reports, publications, and museum collections. NPSpecies users can also submit suggestions on list additions or updates.
NPSpecies is always a work in progress. Lists continue to change and improve as we learn more about species in parks. Some species categories such as birds or mammals have had extensive research done and their information in NPSpecies is relatively stable. Other categories such as invertebrates or non-vascular plants are less well known, and information in NPSpecies may be missing or in the early stages of development.
A Scientific Opportunity
Have you ever taken a picture of a deer, lizard, or unusual plant? Through a mobile and web-based tool called iNaturalist**, you can now share your photographs online, and people all over the world can help identify your observations. Together, people everywhere will be helping to create a record of life in our parks.
Anyone visiting national park lands with a smartphone or digital camera can turn their photos of plants, animals, fungi, and other “critters” into useful data. Even if participants don’t know exactly which species they recorded, members of the global iNaturalist community work together to crowdsource identifications. Verified records from iNaturalist can be used to update NPSpecies, the official NPS database that documents our knowledge of the occurrence and status of species within each park.
Visit the iNaturalist website to learn more!
Many thanks to Cabrillo National Monument for letting us link to their videos!
Last updated: August 2, 2018