Natural Resource Monitoring at Antietam National Battlefield

A woman looks through binoculars while standing waist deep in shaded grass
Grassland bird monitoring near Antietam National Cemetery.

NPS/Nortrup

The National Capital Region Inventory & Monitoring Network monitors air quality, amphibians, birds, forest pests, vegetation, invasive plants, stream water, and stream fish and macroinvertebrates at Antietam National Battlefield. The results of that monitoring provide park managers with scientific information for decision-making.

Antietam National Battlefield is made up of over 3,250 acres of farmland, pastures, woodlots, and limestone forests in the Appalachian Ridge and Valley region.

The park’s main natural resource management concerns are surrounding land development, overpopulation of deer, invasive species, and forest pests and diseases. Stormwater management is a big concern for stream ecosystems. Regional air quality and land use patterns can have strong effects on park resources.

What's Happening in Antietam

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    Tags: ncrn

    NCRN Monitoring at Antietam by the Numbers

    *Site numbers as of 2022. These can change over time.
    What We Monitor Sites at Antietam* Monitoring Frequency Information We Collect
    Amphibians 7 known wetlands Annual sampling on a subset of known wetlands
    • Species occupancy and richness for salamanders, frogs, and toads in vernal pools
    Birds – forest and grassland 14 (forest bird)

    100 (grassland bird)
    Forest plots are monitored twice a year

    Grassland plots are monitored three times a year
    • Forest bird species and abundance
    • Grassland bird species and abundance
    • Bird habitat quality
    Forest vegetation 12 (forest vegetation) Approximately a quarter of plots each year on a four-year cycle
    • Deer browse
    • Fallen and standing woody debris
    • Targeted diseases and pests
    • Targeted invasive plant species
    • Trees, shrubs, vines, and specific non-woody plants
    Stream biota – fish and macroinvertebrates At streams listed below Periodic sampling 2007-2014, 2019-2023
    • Aquatic macroinvertebrates taxa and abundance
    • Fish species and abundance
    • Stream physical habitat including bank stability, stream shading, and distance from developed areas
    Stream water quality 1 (stream site) on Sharpsburg Creek Stream sites are monitored every other month

    Wetland sites are monitored twice per sampling period
    • Acid neutralizing capacity
    • Dissolved oxygen
    • pH
    • Salinity/specific conductance
    • Stream width, depth, flow, and discharge
    • Total nitrate and phosphorus
    • Water temperature

    Last updated: May 17, 2022