Natural Resource Monitoring at Manassas National Battlefield Park

A trio of scientists stands near a forest pool. One takes notes while the others survey.
Monitoring amphibians in a seasonal forest wetland (vernal pool).


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 Manassas National Battlefield Park. The results of that monitoring provide park managers with scientific information for decision-making.

Manassas National Battlefield Park is made up of over 4,000 acres of forests, grasslands, streams, and ponds on rolling hills in the central Piedmont region. Nearly half the park is grassland that provides crucial habitat for grassland birds and pollinators while the other half is forest, ranging from early-successional Virginia pine stands to relatively mature oak-hickory and bottomland hardwood forests.

The park’s main natural resource management concerns are encroaching urban development, overpopulation of deer, and invasive plants 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 Manassas

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    NCRN Monitoring at Manassas by the Numbers

    Site numbers as of 2022. These can change over time.
    What We Monitor Sites at Manassas* Monitoring Frequency Information We Collect
    Amphibians 66 known wetland pools Annual sampling on a subset of known wetlands.

    Wetland sites are monitored twice per sampling period
    Species occupancy and richness for salamanders, frogs, and toads in vernal pools
    Birds – forest only 24 (forest bird)

    44 (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 19 (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 Young's Branch Stream sites are monitored every other month
    • Acid neutralizing capacity
    • Dissolved oxygen
    • pH
    • Salinity/specific conductance
    • Stream width, depth, flow, and discharge
    • Total nitrate and phosphorus
    • Water temperature

    Last updated: May 11, 2023