The Los Angeles Department of Sanitation and Environment Monday released a list of 37 species in Los Angeles as part of its L.A. Bioblitz Challenge, a program in partnership with the L.A. Public Library to encourage Angelenos to photograph and map native animals, insects and plants across the city.
The list, which LASAN developed with the L.A. Biodiversity Expert Council, includes vertebrates and invertebrates that are typically not found in urban environments. The presence of these species indicates the quality of the habitat. The list includes Baja California tree frogs, red-tailed hawks, bumblebees, bobcats, mountain lions, mule deals and more.
“Los Angeles may be known as a sprawling metropolis, but it’s the abundance of natural beauty that makes this City such a prolific hotspot for native life,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Our city’s wildlife deserve the strongest protection possible, and the recognition of these species will help us continue to safeguard their well-being.”
LASAN will track the indicator species’ presence as an initiative of the city’s Biodiversity Index to understand the city’s quality as a habitat for wildlife. According to the department, U.S. cities typically don’t publish lists of indicator species or make them easily accessible. L.A. hopes to engage the public with its list of charismatic indicator species and use community-generated data to track and monitor the city’s biodiversity over time.
“I’m so pleased our biodiversity team, our L.A. Library, and our backyard scientists will be hard at work gauging the health of L.A.’s tiniest residents right down to the ecotope level,” said Los Angeles Councilmember Paul Koretz. “With the United Nations Biodiversity Conference of Parties coming up in October, especially for our pollinating migratory creatures, we must look, think and plan beyond the City’s borders and begin to act as a global community if we are to successfully heal the planet.”
On June 7, LASAN and the Los Angeles Public Library launched its L.A. Bioblitz Challenge to encourage Angelenos to photograph and map native species across the city.
During the program, which runs through Aug. 7, people are urged to share at least 10 observations of animals, insects and plants on the iNaturalist app, according to the library.
The program’s goal is to help researchers determine how wildlife is distributed across L.A.’s natural landscape. To complete the challenge, three of the 10 observations must be of indicator species, which are organisms that reflect a specific environmental condition and whose presence indicates a high quality habitat. In Los Angeles, indicator species include the Great Horned Owl, the Bobcat, the California Wild Rose, the Red-Tailed Hawk and more.
People who finish the challenge should complete a game card or completion form and drop it off at their local library through Aug. 9 to be eligible for prizes.
The completion form and more information about the challenge are available at lapl.org/steam/bioblitz.
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