National Park Service

Greater Yellowstone Network (GRYN)


Chorus Frog measured during monitoring
Chorus Frog measured during monitoring

The intent of park vital signs monitoring is to track a subset of physical, chemical, and biological elements and processes of park ecosystems that are selected to represent the overall health or condition of park resources, known or hypothesized effects of stressors, or elements that have important human values.

The elements and processes that are monitored are a subset of the total suite of natural resources that park managers are directed to preserve "unimpaired for future generations," including water, air, geological resources, plants and animals, and the various ecological, biological, and physical processes that act on those resources. In situations where natural areas have been so highly altered that physical and biological processes no longer operate (e.g., control of fires and floods in developed areas), information obtained through monitoring can help managers understand how to develop the most effective approach to restoration or, in cases where restoration is impossible, ecologically sound management.

The GRYN Monitoring Plan and its appendices provide a detailed description of the strategy for monitoring these vital signs. The table below provides links to additional information for each active vital sign.

Vital Sign Monitoring Status
Amphibians Ongoing since 2006
Climate Ongoing since 2010
Ecological Response to Climate Change Ongoing since 2010
Land Birds Inactive following exploratory work in Grand Teton 2005-2008
Land Use Ongoing via the NPS-wide Landscape Dynamics Project (NPScape)
Upland Vegetation Ongoing since 2011
Water Resources Ongoing for regulatory parameters since 2004; additional elements pending
Whitebark Pine (Interagency) Ongoing since 2004

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