National Park Service

Mediterranean Coast Network (MEDN)


Sea anemones and sea stars at Channel Islands National Park
Sea anemones and sea stars at Channel Islands National Park

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 MEDN Monitoring Plan provides a detailed description of the strategy for monitoring these vital signs. The table below shows the detailed monitoring protocols used to sample these vital signs to date.

Vital Sign Category Vital Sign Monitoring Protocol Status
Amphibians & Reptiles Aquatic Herpetofauna Complete
Terrestrial Herpetofauna Complete
Birds Land Birds Complete
Sea Birds Complete (legacy)
Climate & Weather Climate & Weather Complete (legacy)
Deer Mouse Deer Mouse Complete (legacy)
Invasive Plants Invasive Plants Under Development
Island Fox Island Fox Complete (legacy)
Kelp Forest Communities Kelp Forest Communities Complete (legacy)
Landscape Dynamics Landscape Dynamics Under Development
Native Plant Communities Native Plant Communities

Complete (legacy)
Under Development

Pinnipeds Pinnipeds Under Development
Rocky Intertidal Habitat Rocky Intertidal Habitat Complete (legacy)
Sandy Beaches & Lagoons Sandy Beaches & Lagoons Complete (legacy)
Water Quality Fresh Water Quality Under Development
Marine Water Quality Suspended

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Last Updated: December 30, 2016 Contact Webmaster