PRISSM - Partnership of Regional Institutions for Sage Scrub Monitoring (California)

The Partnership of Regional Institutions for Sage Scrub Monitoring (PRISSM) ( is a multi-institutional effort to establish long-term bio-monitoring programs in California sage scrub (CSS) fragments throughout southern California. PRISSM’s goals are to (1) enhance collaboration among researchers and land managers of natural area/reserve/biological field station directors/managers tasked with managing CSS fragments and among the researchers that study this ecosystem; and (2) carry out bio-monitoring programs that support and enhance current and future research in CSS throughout Southern California. Bio-monitoring protocols document and assess changes in diversity and phenology of plants, butterflies, birds, and other vertebrates. Currently, bio-monitoring efforts are being conducted at three sites – Robert J. Bernard Field Station (lead institution), Voorhis Ecological Reserve, and the North Etiwanda Preserve. We welcome more collaboration and additional sites.


Coordinator: Hamlett, Nancy
Program Started: 2015
Species Focus: All butterfly species
Contact: Nancy Hamlett (


Protocol Type: Restricted search, Pollard
Data Type(s): Abundance
Survey Focus: Adults
Incidental Data Collected: Weather, Behavior, Host / nectar plants, Habitat notes
Effort Tracking: Start and stop times are recorded
Protocol Notes: A typical pollard protocol with detections allowed up to 20 ft (~6m) on either side and in front of observer. Route length varies and contains multiple sections divided by habitat. Each site is asked to conduct monthly surveys year-round if possible, but at least from February - October. All butterflies observed during each survey are recorded.
Taxonomic Standard: Modified Pelham 2013