Biodiversity Publication and Resources

Review the latest publications & resources from LASAN’s Biodiversity Program, including the recently released LA Biodiversity Index Baseline Report.
LASAN’s Biodiversity Team has published three major reports and a variety of other resources to raise public awareness on biodiversity-related issues.

LA Biodiversity Index Baseline Report (2022)

Biodiversity Index 2022 Cover This LA Biodiversity Index Baseline Report presents the first official benchmark assessment of the LA City Biodiversity Index, a tool that was designed to monitor progress toward the no-net loss target presented in LA’s Green New Deal. The topics covered in the Index comprehensively assess not only what is happening to habitats and how well connected various habitats are, but how well the City is engaging with students and the larger community on the topic of biodiversity and how the City itself is working to protect endangered species and manage threats, like invasive species, via action plans and policies. The body of the report provides detailed information on the assessment of all 25 metrics in the LA City Biodiversity Index. Background information, metric scores, measurement results, a brief discussion of results, and a list of management implications are presented for each metric. The report concludes with steps to protect biodiversity in the City.

2020 Biodiversity Report

Biodiversity Index 2020 Cover The 2020 Biodiversity Report presents the framework and scientific rationale for the customized LA City Biodiversity Index. Additionally, the report introduces the “ecotopes” spatial management framework and an approach for measuring urban habitat quality and connectivity in Los Angeles. The report concludes with a number of useful biodiversity case studies.

2018 Biodiversity Report

Biodiversity Index 2018 Cover
In 2018, LASAN measured the Singapore Index on Cities’ Biodiversity. Los Angeles was the first City in the U.S. to perform this measurement, joining Helsinki, Montreal, Lisbon, and a few other global cities. LASAN embraced its leadership role in this process, bringing together interested individuals to form an Expert Council and an Interdepartmental Biodiversity Team. The collective knowledge and data resources from esteemed individuals were tapped to measure the Singapore Index and served as an important first step in the City’s effort to design a customized biodiversity index tailored specifically to Los Angeles.

Other Resources

LA Biodiversity Guidelines

LA Biodiversity Guidelines The LA Biodiversity Guidelines have been developed jointly by the City of Los Angeles and the County of Los Angeles as a mechanism to incorporate biodiversity into the urban environment and support City and County biodiversity objectives. The intent is that projects that adhere to these guidelines will support and enhance urban nature while adhering to sustainable management practices. The document provides guidance to public and private entities on how to best design, construct, and landscape projects so that they improve local habitat quality. These guidelines cover six topics: Habitat, Maintenance, Water, Built Elements, Healthy Soils, and Sustainability. A comprehensive checklist, which includes the guidance from each of the six sections, is also included for easy reference. The checklist and topic-specific information are also available for direct download:

City of Los Angeles Urban Nature Guidebook

City of Los Angeles Urban Nature Guidebook The City of Los Angeles Urban Nature Guidebook showcases 20 native plant gardens, greenways, natural parks, and wildlife reserves around the City. Each entry highlights collaborative partnerships and features three defining attributes that make each of these biodiversity gems so special.

By demonstrating that nature can thrive in at a variety of settings within cities, ranging from small urban school yards to large natural parks, like Griffith Park, we hope to show that urban spaces can support the incredible array of plants and animals that live in Los Angeles and inspire the transformation of additional lands across the City into biodiverse habitats.


  • Official List of Biodiversity Indicator Species for the City of Los Angeles
    LASAN worked with the Biodiversity Expert Council to finalize a list of 37 biodiversity indicator species for the City of Los Angeles. The list includes vertebrate and invertebrate species that are urban avoider species not typically found in built, urban environments. When these species are present, it generally means that the land possesses a broad suite of habitat and connectivity functions and is of sufficient size to support biodiversity. LASAN is tracking observations of these indicator species for the LA City Biodiversity Index. Help LASAN’s Biodiversity Team understand the abundance and distribution of these species by logging observations of them on community science platforms like iNaturalist and eBird.
  • Indicator Species Booklet
    Learn more about the City’s 37 indicator species in this beautiful guide to the City’s Charismatic Umbrella Indicator Species. A photo, information on habitat, diet, common predators, and behaviors is included for all species. The booklet also provides useful observation tips, range maps, and more.

    Biodiversity Indicator Species Cover


LASAN has created a number of infographics to share information about biodiversity with the public. The following infographics summarize information from the LA Biodiversity Index Baseline Report.

Infographic 1 - Overall Findings & Indicator Takeaways Cover       Infographic 2 - What Can You Do to Protect Biodiversity Cover
   Infographic 2
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