What We Monitor

Vital signs are a subset of physical, biological, and chemical elements that are selected to represent the overall ecological health of a park's resources or the effects of stressors to those ecosystems. Monitoring these vital signs can provide information about changes or trends in the park's natural resources.

The South Florida/Caribbean Network has identified a prioritized list of vital signs and is developing protocols and field monitoring for at least eleven of them. The protocols for colonial nesting birds, coral reef community, coral reef water temperature, mangrove soil surface elevation tables, Florida reef fish, and Virgin Islands reef fish have been approved and published. Protocol documents for forest vegetation, lobster, mangrove-marsh ecotone, periphyton, and seagrass are in development. Some vital signs remain unfunded at this time.

Last updated: October 20, 2020