Understanding Park Natural Resources

National parks are complex places, and every day park managers need to make decisions that affect a park's natural resources. Reliable, science-based information is the foundation for sound management decisions.

The Inventory & Monitoring Division systematically gathers and analyzes information on the plants, animals, and ecosystems that are found within parks. Inventory information helps us understand the range of resources we protect, and monitoring information helps us understand how these resources are doing over the long term. Learn more about Inventory & Monitoring.

Male Northern Cardinal alighting on a snowy stump

Inventories help us understand the key natural resources in parks.

Biologist taking notes underwater, in scuba gear, observing coral
Long-term Monitoring

Through monitoring we can detect if park natural resources are stable or might be changing.

Portion of a map showing Inventory & Monitoring network boundaries
Inventory & Monitoring Networks

There are 32 networks comprising over 280 parks. Each network collects and analyzes information on park natural resources.

Last updated: December 22, 2017