What We Monitor

Monitoring is the repeated observation and measurement of specific park natural resources in order to better understand their condition. In the Southerns Plains Network, we track a set of vital signs— physical, chemical, and biological elements and processes that can indicate the overall health or condition of park resources.

Methodical, careful measurements, year after year, of these vital signs are key to understanding if or how an ecosystem might be changing. Network vital signs are a subset of the total suite of natural resources that park managers need to preserve "unimpaired for future generations."

The Southern Plains Network Monitoring Plan provides a detailed description of our monitoring strategy and our selected vital signs.

Learn more about vital signs and how they've been established in 32 networks across the country. A complete list of natural resource monitoring reports produced by the Southern Plains Network can be found on the Reports and Publications page.

Network Vital Signs

Last updated: September 10, 2018