Conservation Research Across Scales in a National Program

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In 2000, the USGS Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative - or ARMI - was established, under the direction of the President and Congress, in response to worldwide declines in amphibian populations.

USGS researchers Mike Adams and Erin Muths describe ARMI’s progression through three different phases and show how a program like ARMI can be designed to be applicable across many scales, from global to local. ARMI study designs are tailored to specific questions, but stipulate the use of robust estimates of occupancy, abundance, and other parameters that are comparable despite differences in methodology. This allows researchers to address local questions and produce data that can easily be scaled up to accomplish the objectives of a broad-scale monitoring program. ARMI encourages maintaining flexibility for local partnerships with management agencies for rapid productivity and utility. This strategy was shown to be successful as it built a strong foundation to then pursue broader-scale questions in a more coordinated fashion. ARMI provides a unique model for addressing multi-scale information needs with taxpayer funding.


Adams, M.J., Muths, E., 2019, Conservation research across scales in a national program- how to be relevant to local management and general at the same time: Biological Conservation, v. 236,

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Date published: September 20, 2017
Status: Active

Herpetological Research Team (FRESC)

The Herpetological Research Team focuses on issues related to conservation and management of amphibians and other aquatic and semi-aquatic species. Among our current studies are effects of invasive species, disease, and land use change on the dynamics of amphibian communities to inform conservation and management decision making.