Inventory and Monitoring

Transect tape lays on ground near cliff edge with live and dead vegetation, including yellow flowers. White and pink rock formations are in background
Long-term monitoring of vegetation and other key resources gives managers early warning of change and potential problems.

NPS/Amy Washuta

To make sound management decisions, park managers need to know how and why natural systems change over time, and what amount of change is normal. National Park Service scientists monitor the "vital signs" of national park ecosystems—much like a physician measures a patient's heartbeat and blood pressure to determine well-being and help diagnose problems.

The Northern Colorado Plateau Network (NCPN), which is part of the National Park Service's Inventory & Monitoring Program, collects long-term data on a variety of natural resources. Ecologists then organize, analyze, and synthesize those data and provide the results to park staff. The information collected can provide early warning of ecosystem changes, allowing park managers to develop mitigation measures and reduce management costs.

At Zion National Park, the network monitors air quality, climate, invasive exotic plants, land surface, phenology, landbirds, landscape dynamics, uplands, wadeable streams, and water quality. Briefs and reports can be found at the network’s website, where you can also generate a species list for Zion National Park.


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    Zion National Park
    1 Zion Park Blvd.
    State Route 9

    Springdale , UT 84767


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