USA NPN National Phenology Network

Taking the Pulse of Our Planet

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Development of the Animal Phenology Program


Program development briefings - Periodic descriptions of the status of the animal phenology program.

Updates in 
The Wildlifer - We are posting periodic updates on the development of the animal phenology program in The Wildlifer, the newsletter of The Wildlife Society:

Review process 
(pdf) - An outline of the steps we are following to ensure the quality of our animal phenology program.

Criteria for selecting species
(pdf) - The criteria used to select the species that we recommend for phenology monitoring.

Summary of the criteria (see pdf for detailed criteria): 

Characteristic required of all monitored species
·      Current knowledge about the species’ natural history
Characteristics required of species to be monitored by beginning citizen scientists
·      Ease of identification
·      Ease of observation and data collection
·      Relative abundance
Optional but desirable characteristics of monitored species
·      Taxonomic stability and clarity
·      Existence of legacy data sets
·      Existence of ongoing long-term monitoring stations
·      No permits required for observation
·      Broad distribution
·      Occurrence in Alaska, Hawaii, or U.S. island territories
·      Ecological importance
·      Economic importance
·      Known time-sensitive specialist interactions with other species or abiotic factors
·      Relationship to monitored plants
·      Species of conservation concern
·      Urban taxa
·      Sensitivity to climate change
·      Potential to stimulate partnerships
Optional but desirable characteristics of monitored taxonomic groups
·      Taxonomic representation
·      Geographic representation
·      Ecological representation
·      Temporal diversity of phenophases

Species list
 (pdf) - The list of animal species that we recommend for monitoring. Participants will be able to submit observations of 58 (listed below) via the USA-NPN website in spring 2010. We plan to have an additional 100 species (listed on pdf) available for submitting observations by autumn 2010.

Species available to monitor online in spring 2010 (see pdf for additional species available to monitor in autumn 2010):

Barred Tiger Salamander Ambystoma mavortium
American Toad Anaxyrus americanus
Woodhouse's Toad Anaxyrus woodhousii
Cascades Frog Lithobates cascadae
Northern Leopard Frog Lithobates pipiens
Wood Frog Lithobates sylvaticus
Northern Pacific Treefrog Pseudacris regilla
Couch's Spadefoot Scaphiopus couchii
Plains Spadefoot Spea bombifrons
Rough-skinned Newt Taricha granulose
Brant Branta bernicla
American Goldfinch Carduelis tristis
Killdeer Charadrius vociferus
Olive-sided Flycatcher Contopus cooperi
Common Loon Gavia immer
Osprey Pandion haliaetus
Cliff Swallow Petrochelidon pyrrhonota
Scarlet Tanager Piranga olivacea
Black-capped Chickadee Poecile atricapillus
American Robin Turdus migratorius
Green Sturgeon Acipenser medirostris
American Shad Alosa sapidissima
American Eel Anguilla rostrata
White sucker Catostomus commersonii
Pink Salmon Oncorhynchus gorbuscha
Chum Salmon Oncorhynchus keta
Coho Salmon Oncorhynchus kisutch
Chinook Salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha
Yellow Perch Perca flavescens
Sea Lamprey Petromyzon marinus
Common Green Darner Anax junius
A common bumble bee Bombus impatiens or other
Ebony Jewelwing Calopteryx maculata
spring azures Celastrina lucia, ladon, idella
Punctured Tiger Beetle Cicindela punctulata
Six-spotted Tiger Beetle Cicindela sexguttata
Seaside Dragonlet Erythrodiplax berenice
Tent Caterpillar Malacosoma americana, M. californica
Common Whitetail Plathemis lydia
Bicolored Sallow Sunira bicolorago
White-tailed Prairie Dog Cynomys leucurus
Yellow-bellied Marmot Marmota flaviventris
Woodchuck Marmota monax
Northern Elephant Seal Mirounga angustirostris
Mule Deer Odocoileus hemionus
White-tailed Deer Odocoileus virginianus
Bighorn Sheep Ovis canadensis
Eastern Chipmunk Tamias striatus
Townsend's Chipmunk Tamias townsendii
Snapping Turtle Chelydra serpentina
Northern Painted Turtle Chrysemys picta
Spotted Turtle Clemmys guttata
North American Racer Coluber constrictor
Eastern Collared Lizard Crotaphytus collaris
Northern Watersnake Nerodia sipedon
Gophersnake Pituophis catenifer
Common Sagebrush Lizard Sceloporus graciosus
Terrestrial Gartersnake Thamnophis elegans