The following is courtesy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife:
California is one of the most biodiverse regions in the world, with more than 30,000 species of insects, 6,500 plants, 650 birds, 220 mammals, 100 reptiles, 75 amphibians, 70 freshwater fish, and 100 species of marine fish and mammals. We celebrate the unique diversity of living things found in our state, and encourage actions to protect them, on California Biodiversity Day, held Sept. 7 of each year.
Although physical distancing restrictions and other COVID-19 precaution have prevented California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) ecological reserves and wildlife areas from planning the “open house” style celebrations that were hosted in previous years, CDFW staff across the state have created a roster of ways – both virtual and outdoors – for Californians to explore and learn about the biodiversity found on state lands. A master list of California Biodiversity Day events can be found at resources.ca.gov/biodiversityday2021(opens in new tab).
This year’s virtual events, self-guided tours and outdoor opportunities lend themselves to physical distancing. The events will be held over the course of a week, from Sept 4-12, 2021.
A sampling of California Biodiversity Day 2021 events, many of which feature the use of the free iNaturalist app, include the following:
Take one of the many self-guided tours available at CDFW properties throughout the state. Use the iNaturalist app to learn and document any plants, animals or other organisms you encounter while exploring CDFW ecological reserves and wildlife areas.
Visitors to the Los Angeles Zoo are invited to imagine and share their vision of what people and animals thriving, together, looks like at their home. Visitors will be able to draw a scene showing their ideas, and then attach it to a wall-sized map of Los Angeles. This community-created mural will showcase our collective vision of a city where California biodiversity is valued. Happening Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 11, and 12, 2021, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Using the free iNaturalist app, join a virtual scavenger hunt around the Nimbus Fish Hatchery and along the American River! Bring drinking water. Programing provided in English and Spanish.
Join one of the virtual presentations to learn more about California’s unique biodiversity and ways you can help protect it. Take part in an interview with pollinator scientists on Sept. 9 or learn about how you can restore habitat where you live and work on Sept. 10.
All proposed in-person activities will take place outdoors and involve minimal contact between participants and any staff present, with a minimum physical distance of 6 feet from individuals from different households observed by all.
California Floristic Province, CDFW photo/Rachel Powell