Biodiversity Atlas of LA

The Biodiversity Atlas of Los Angeles is meant to show the beauty and biodiversity of Los Angeles, as well as the species and areas under threat in this bustling metropolitan area. The project was created by three researchers at UCLA—Monica Dimson, Dr. Ryan Harrington, and Dr. Thomas Gillespie— in cooperation with the university in 2020 and provides stunning visual models relevant to researchers and residents with the shared interest in learning about and protecting the rich biodiversity of the area. The Atlas features raster-based environmental information as the backdrop for biodiversity models, such as geology, land cover, and climate zones, as well as the species distribution information that overlays these backdrops. Users can filter between different categories of species, like those that are “iconic” (like the handsome red-crowned parrot), endangered, or invasive. Users can also search by address to see what plants and animals surround the places they are frequently at, like their favourite park or local elementary school. The Atlas also has an available layer that shows all of the California Protected Areas, including wildlife refuges, national forests, and parks at the national, state, and local level. While an innovative approach to engaging the public, data on vulnerable species should be protected if increased public attention could bring harm to their habitat or population.


Aesthetic/Leisure, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Data, Ecological Modelling, Regulation