UCLA study finds thriving wildlife in L.A.

UCLA study finds thriving wildlife in L.A.

wildlife thrivings

Los Angeles is home to a surprising variety of unique species, according to a recent study by biologists at UCLA. Through the L.A. Biodiversity Index, researchers identified several native and unexpected species thriving within the city’s most urbanized spots. Joseph Curti, a doctoral candidate in ecology, said, “Our study highlights additional native species that are present within even the most urbanized areas of the city.” While expansive green spaces and mountain ranges on the city’s outskirts naturally supported the greatest diversity, the researchers were astounded to find biodiversity pockets in the city’s core.

Twenty-spotted lady beetles and house wrens were found flourishing in the Dodger Stadium parking lot. Pershing Square, located downtown, is home to mourning doves, Vaux’s swifts, gopher snakes, and exotic streaktails. This discovery underscores the need for increased conservation efforts in urban settings.

Wildlife findings in Los Angeles

L.A. is making strides in the right direction, driven by new monitoring and research initiatives required by the biodiversity index. In April, the city completed girders on a new wildlife crossing that links the Simi Hills of the Santa Susana mountain range with the Santa Monica Mountains.

This crossing could significantly benefit species like mountain lions, which have faced challenges in finding mates due to habitat isolation. Preserving biodiversity in urban areas is crucial as healthy ecosystems attract key pollinators like butterflies and bees, ensuring the vitality of local flora. By supporting local conservation efforts, we can help future generations experience and benefit from the thriving wildlife around us.

The L.A. Biodiversity Index, which reevaluates urban intensity every three years, serves as a tool to track and increase the city’s biodiversity. Michelle Barton, an environmental manager for Los Angeles, said, “This work provides the foundational data and maps needed for the city and Angelenos to proactively create habitat for biodiversity.”

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The recent findings and ongoing efforts highlight the importance of urban biodiversity and the positive impacts of local conservation work on both the environment and the community.


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