Sanctuary-based Inventory & Monitoring

Yellow spotted salamander, Ambystoma maculata
Yellow spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculata)

As the climate warms and transformation of the landscape by development and invasive species continues over the next few decades, we anticipate that the suite of plant and wildlife that call Massachusetts home will be altered, perhaps fairly drastically.

Taking inventory and monitoring of representative groups of related organisms (i.e., taxa) will provide us with information on how well our wildlife sanctuaries represent the biological diversity found in Massachusetts and will provide information on changes over time. Our Inventory and Monitoring Project will help Mass Audubon evaluate these changes and provide the basis for future conservation action.

It would be difficult to inventory the complete biodiversity of any system of protected land. Instead, we have focused our efforts on taxa that are likely to provide the best reflection of ecological conditions and long-term trends for a minimal amount of monitoring effort.

Such taxa should be sensitive to change, reflect local and/or regional ecological conditions, be reasonably but not overwhelming diverse, and be relatively easy to monitor.