What is Ecological Monitoring?
Ecological monitoring is a tool which provides park managers with information about changes in ecological integrity over time.
In some cases positive changes are identified through ecological monitoring (an example might be an increase in the population of a species at risk over time). In other cases negative changes might be identified (an example might be a decrease in water quality of a river or lake over time). And in some cases there might be no significant changes identified over time – which can be a positive or a negative depending on the baseline status of the indicator being monitored.
Parks Canada's objective is to allow people to enjoy national parks as special places without damaging their integrity. In other words, ecological integrity is our endpoint for park management. Ecosystem management is the process used to get there, and ecological monitoring results help guide the ecosystem management process.