Survey of California Biodiversity

Identifying and Understanding California’s Habitats

Poppies adjacent to Centennial; Image: Nick Jensen

In order to protect something, you have to know it’s there. The last extensive survey of California’s biodiversity took place almost 100 years ago. Much of our California hasn’t been appropriately or recently surveyed to document what plants live in our state and where they are. We are seeking funding for a survey of California’s biodiversity that will allow us to identify priorities to meet conservation goals, conduct effective conservation planning, monitor and evaluate strategies and projects, and adaptively manage for successful outcomes. Good science is the foundation of good decision making.

An updated survey of California’s biodiversity would:

What We've Found

Stipa speciosum. Credit Jennifer Buck-Diaz.
Stipa speciosum; Image: Jennifer Buck-Diaz
Madrone (Arbutus menziesii) resprout; Image: Alexis LaFever-Jackson
Desert Dandelion (Malacothrix) and Cholla (Cylindropuntia); Image: Emily Sluiman
Desert Dandelion (Malacothrix) and Cholla (Cylindropuntia); Image: Emily Sluiman

Artemisia: “Beyond Species: Cryptic Diversity and its Importance” by Brent D. Mishler and Bruce G. Baldwin

“Since well before the Darwinian revolution, species have been commonly understood to be the discrete building blocks that make up the sum total of biodiversity. Despite the availability of extraordinary quantities of genetic and genomic data, and advances in evolutionary theory and methods, biodiversity is still nearly universally viewed through this Aristotelian lens, measured simply as a count of how many species are present. But we know now that biodiversity is far more than a count of species—there is significant variation within traditionally named species, and important, differential phylogenetic relationships among them.” (p.43)

Clarkia rubicunda. Credit William Lundgren.
Clarkia rubicunda. Image: William Lundgren

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