Surveys and Inventories


Field Surveys
The Alabama Natural Heritage Program performs ecological surveys to target specific inventory needs of federal, state, and local land management agencies and organizations. Our staff of expert botanists, zoologists, and ecologists have extensive experience designing and conducting field surveys for a wide range of rare and imperiled plants, animals, and natural communities throughout the state and southeastern region.

Why conduct a survey or inventory?
Although ALNHP maintains a comprehensive database on rare species and natural communities in Alabama, this information is in constant need of updating and may not be complete for specific areas. Data collection spans a long time frame (late 1800's to present) and many places have never been surveyed (or the information was never recorded) or have not been surveyed recently. A survey can update older records, fill in the gaps where we have no documented survey information, and provide a more accurate picture of biodiversity in a given area. ALNHP scientists can meet with land managers directly to discuss their greatest inventory needs, and select sites of highest priority based on those needs. Information collected during field surveys assists land managers in making sound land use, natural resource management, and conservation decisions in their work and adds valuable data to our database.

How much does a survey or inventory cost?
Local municipalities, regional units of government, conservation organizations, and business organizations can negotiate a contract with ALNHP to conduct an inventory of natural features in their region. The type of surveys can range from surveys for a single species or a targeted group of species to a comprehensive inventory that incorporates plants, animals, and natural communities. Costs are dependent on several factors including: size of the area to be surveyed, degree of effort, number and type of species and/or natural communities targeted, number of sites, fragmentation of ownership, and access to property.