Cave Ecology Inventory and Monitoring Framework

G. M. Baker, S. J. Taylor, Shawn Thomas, K. Lavoie, R. Olson, Hazel A. Barton, Marie Denn, Steven C Thomas, Rene Ohms, Kurt Lewis Helf, Joel Despain, Jim Kennedy, David Larson

Research output: Book/Report/Conference proceedingTechnical report


The Cave Ecology Inventory and Monitoring Framework (Framework) is intended to assist National Park Service (NPS) cave managers to better understand what lives in the caves that they are responsible for managing and how they interact with the cave environment. For many NPS units where cave resources have not emerged as a vital sign in their NPS Inventory and Monitoring (IM) Network, additional guidance would be helpful. Designing inventory and monitoring programs for cave ecosystems poses particular challenges: many cave species are rare and/or cryptic, and their distributions can be highly patchy and variable over time. Logistics of accessing sites can be complex, and observers must take unusual care to avoid damaging the ecosystems they are tasked with monitoring. The guidance in this document can aid managers in deciding what to inventory and monitor and ways that can be done. It also helps provide a national context, which may help parks conduct inventory and monitoring in a more cohesive manner.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Place of PublicationFort Collins
PublisherU.S. National Park Service
Number of pages140
StatePublished - Apr 2015

Publication series

NameNatural Resource Report
PublisherU.S. National Park Service


  • INHS
  • Caves
  • Cave ecosystems
  • Monitoring
  • Inventory
  • Cave resources
  • Cave environments
  • Environmental management
  • National parks
  • Ecology


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