Measuring the health of Mt. Tam

Maintaining a healthy, vibrant and diverse Mt. Tam begins with understanding how key ecological resources are faring, and how we can better care for this iconic and beloved place.

One Tam partners and Bay Area scientists have come together to try to answer the question: How healthy are Mt. Tam's natural resources?

Ecosystems

Summary

Each ecological community or ecosystem roll-up was created by aggregating all of the vegetation and wildlife metrics from individual indicators that were pertinent to that ecosystem. Each individual metric has its own condition, trend, and confidence level as already determined in the individual indicator assessments.

This methodology omitted large data gaps to focus more upon what could be said about the state of the ecosystems on Mt. Tam. This means that some taxonomic communities, such as invertebrates, are currently under-represented within these ecosystem roll-ups, even though they are incredibly important to the overall health of Mt. Tam. These omissions are only due to a lack of analyzable data, and as data gaps are filled the ecosystem roll-ups will continue to be further refined.

The species trait-status database was used within each taxonomic group to indicate which species had strong affiliation to a particular habitat type. For example, in the case of the grasslands ecosystem, there are three metrics taken from the grassland vegetation indicator, one badger metric from the native mammal diversity indicator, and one bird metric for grassland birds.

The aggregated ecosystem assessments represented in the links above are based on our early understanding of available data. This approach allows more segments from other taxonomic groups to be added in the future, as strong habitat affiliations are uncovered and more data is gathered.