LA BioBlitz Challenge: 2022 Accomplishments

Vivienne Byrd, Librarian III, Exploration & Creativity Department,
woman and child looking at nature and collecting data with a cel phone
Over four weeks, an impressive 8,223 observations were made by 1,066 individuals

After a September of exploring, observing, and connecting with wildlife in the City of Los Angeles, a global biodiversity hotspot, the second annual LA BioBlitz Challenge concluded with outstanding results. Thank you to all the participants citywide who supported this tremendous success.

Over four weeks, an impressive 8,223 observations were made by 1,066 individuals.

These data points will provide biodiversity researchers at LA Sanitation and Environment important insights on the current state and distribution of biodiversity. The key findings from this year’s challenge include:

  • 25 of the 38 indicator species were identified and will be used to help infer the condition of habitats across the city. Identifications included the western toad, red-winged blackbird, and mule deer.
  • 3 of the most observed indicator species were the toyon, red-tailed hawk, and great blue heron.
  • 2 indicator species that were not observed during last year’s inaugural challenge were observed this year, including:

    • Behr's metalmark

    • Western meadowlark

  • 7 indicator species not identified last year were also not observed during the 2022 LA Bioblitz Challenge:

    • Coachwhip snake

    • Black-bellied salamander

    • Bramble green hairstreak

    • Greater roadrunner

    • Hooded merganser

    • Northern harrier

    • Sara orangetip

  • Participants successfully turned 6.7 percent of all cold spots on the observation heat map from white to green.
  • 642 observations were made in former cold spots.
rainbow graph

The researchers and scientists in LA Sanitation and Environment will use the crowdsourced data to better understand patterns of biodiversity across the City of Los Angeles. The data will help reveal information about species richness (the number of species present), species abundance (the number of individuals of a given species present), and more. This data is particularly important as global biodiversity is at risk and now, more than ever, we need to take action to protect and enhance our local biodiversity from extinction. With your help, we now have valuable data that can be used to enhance and protect local ecosystems and wildlife habitats in the City of Los Angeles.

Looking ahead, we encourage you to continue to make and share observations around your home and neighborhood. Join the effort in raising awareness with family and friends about the incredible biodiversity that exists here in this global hotspot. We hope this challenge has helped you realize that we can all take steps to protect, preserve and enhance biodiversity in our gardens, schools, workplaces, and public areas.

Protecting and enhancing urban biodiversity will lead to a more sustainable, resilient city in the face of climate change. With simple, intentional, volunteer actions, Angelenos can create and support a resilient urban oasis for humans and wildlife to coexist.

Thank you for participating in this year’s LA Bioblitz Challenge. We hope you will join us again next year for the 2023 LA BioBlitz Challenge! In the meantime, mark your calendars for the 2023 City Nature Challenge which starts on April 28, 2023!

If you completed the challenge, submit the online completion form by October 30 to be entered into the opportunity drawing. Winners will be contacted by the end of October.

Happy bioblitzing!

#LABioBlitz #LAPLNeiSci

—Co-written with Michelle Barton