Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Las Cruces, New Mexico » Range Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #274308

Title: Simple method for monitoring rangeland health and wildlife habitat

item RIGINOS, C - Princeton University
item Herrick, Jeffrey - Jeff
item SUNDARESAN, S - Denver Zoological Gardens
item FARLEY, CARY - Mara North Conservancy
item BELNAP, JAYNE - Us Geological Survey (USGS)

Submitted to: International Rangeland Congress
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/6/2011
Publication Date: 4/2/2011
Citation: Riginos, C., Herrick, J.E., Sundaresan, S.R., Farley, C., Belnap, J. 2011. Simple method for monitoring rangeland health and wildlife habitat. Proceedings of the IX International Rangeland Congress. April 2-8, 2011. Rosario, Argentina. CDROM.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: We describe a monitoring system that requires just a pencil, one page datasheet and a 1-meter stick. Data are collected using the stick at five locations on each of four 25-m transects. Vegetation cover, composition, and horizontal and vertical structure are recorded by marking simple icons on the sheet. The datasheet also allows plant density to be recorded for selected species. The datasheet is designed to allow indicators to be easily calculated on the datasheet. Most indicators require only counting, or multiplication by five. The pattern of circled cover icons on the datasheet also provides a rapid visual representation of vegetation in the 50-m diameter plot. Initial application of the protocols in Kenya and Ethiopia were successful. Workshop participants learned to collect, analyze and interpret data in as little as 3 hours. The datasheet simplifies calculation and interpretation. Standardized indicators allow for comparison across management units.