Preservation and protection of species is a vital role of the National Park Service. The wildlife program of Grand Canyon National Park is undergoing inventory and monitoring projects of several wildlife species in an effort to ensure that these, and many other species, are not lost forever. These inventory and monitoring expeditions provide baseline data to researchers and staff so they can then make informed management decisions that will ensure the preservation and protection of species.
The sixteen day river trip through Grand Canyon National Park is key to the inventory and monitoring effort as it provides access to remote areas, allows the length of Grand Canyon National Park to be surveyed, and brings together researchers from a variety of fields. Without the ability to conduct the river trips, Grand Canyon National Park would continue not knowing the health and status of its wildlife species is, nor the best way to management these species.
An ecosystem approach is being utilized to inventory and monitor the species at Grand Canyon National Park. Studies are being conducted an insects (the prey base of many of the Grand Canyon's bats), vegetation, and small mammals (prey base for fox, coyotes, and raptors). This provides a more holistic approach to preservation and protection of species.
Many species are believed to use both the rim ecosystems and the river corridor, so an understanding of both is needed. Studies have been conducted on the rim, so now river trips are needed to learn more about the use of the river corridor to further the understanding of how species take advantage of the diverse habitats of Grand Canyon National Park.