National Park Service

Inventory & Monitoring (I&M)

Species Lists


 Texas Banded Gecko (Coleonyx brevis) at Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Texas Banded Gecko (Coleonyx brevis) at
Carlsbad Caverns National Park

A fundamental purpose of the National Park Service is to protect and maintain biological diversity within parks. Park managers, rangers, planners, and scientists need basic information on species occurring in parks as a basis for making decisions, and for working with the public, other agencies, and the scientific community.

As one of the 12 core natural resource inventories, the I&M program provided parks with funding and technical assistance to compile existing data and conduct targeted field research to document the occurrence of vascular plants and vertebrates (birds, mammals, fish, amphibians, reptiles) estimated to occur in parks.


The core of the Species Lists inventory is NPSpecies, which is part of the IRMA information system. NPSpecies is a web-based system that provides parks, and NPS, a way to build, manage, and share park species information.

NPSpecies includes standardized information on the occurrence of species in parks, including scientific names and their synonyms, common names, abundance, residency, nativeness, and more.

Most species records in NPSpecies have some form of associated evidence; that is, documentation that substantiates species presence in a park. Evidence can either be a report or publication, a documented observation, or a specimen or voucher that has been collected and verified. Evidence helps ensure the accuracy and credibility of the lists

Status (November, 2013)

NPSpecies was significantly redesigned in 2013.

With NPSpecies, you can:

  • Print or download a park species checklist, or a more comprehensive list with additional information
  • View a park species record and see list of all other NPS units in which the species is reported
  • View the taxonomic hierarchy for any species
  • See if a species has USFWS Endangered Species Act status, or has a special state designation
  • Submit a suggestion to a park on additions or changes to a species list

NPSpecies accommodates local naming conventions or preferences, and uses ITIS (Integrated Taxonomic Information System) as its primary taxonomic classification source. Species list edits and additions are managed through designated NPS Points of Contact, which ensures that records are reviewed, documented, and evaluated..

The information in NPSpecies is a continual work in progress, with lists changing and improving as our knowledge of park biodiversity increases.

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Last Updated: December 30, 2016 Contact Webmaster