Skip to main content

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the timing and substance of conservation research, management, and public engagement in protected areas around the world. This disruption is evident in US national parks, which play a key role in protecting natural and cultural resources and providing outdoor experiences for the public. Collectively, US national parks protect 34 million ha, host more than 300 million visits annually, and serve as one of the world’s largest informal education organizations. The pandemic has altered park conditions and opera- tions in a variety of ways. Shifts in operational conditions related to safety issues, reduced staffing, and decreased park revenues have forced managers to make difficult trade-offs among competing priorities. Long-term research and monitoring of the health of ecosystems and wildlife populations have been interrupted. Time-sensitive management practices, such as control of invasive plants and restoration of degraded habitat, have been delayed. And public engagement has largely shifted from in-person experiences to virtual engagement through social media and other online interactions. These changes pose challenges for accomplishing important science, management, and public engagement goals, but they also create opportunities for developing more flexible monitoring programs and inclusive methods of public engagement. The COVID-19 pandemic reinforces the need for strategic science, management planning, flexible operations, and online public engagement to help managers address rapid and unpredictable challenges.

Get Involved In Puma Preservation

Do you want to help preserve our local ecosystem for future generations? We need your help! Our volunteers are the lifeblood of our organization. We need all sorts of skills: from tech savvy folks to those willing to hike. If you want to be part of change, volunteer today!

See Volunteer Opportunities

Donate and Make a Difference

Do you want to make an immediate impact on puma preservation? Donations are what makes our work and research possible!

Every dollar goes directly towards helping us change the lives of pumas.