U.S. Department of the Interior



This document is a U.S. government work and is not subject to copyright in the United States.


The root of the word monitoring means "to warn," and an essential purpose of monitoring is to raise a warning flag that the current course of action is not working. Monitoring is a powerful tool for identifying problems in the early stages, before they become dramatically obvious or crises. If identified early, problems can be addressed while cost-effective solutions are still available. For example, an invasive species that threatens a rare plant population is much easier to control at the initial stages of invasion, compared to eradicating it once it is well established at a site. Monitoring is also critical for measuring management success. Good monitoring can demonstrate that the current management approach is working and provide evidence supporting the continuation of current management.