Wild California

Wild California

Animals, plants, or natural systems found in the great outdoors. Explore nature!

2020 1st Place Winner: "Seeds of Hope"

Follows a young woman walking through a city with little vegetation to plant a tree.

Quick Facts

15%
California public land is managed by the Bureau of Land Management to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the land.
1000x
Extinction rate has been 1000x higher during the past 50 years than in any other time in human history.
25%
of marine life is supported by the coral reefs. With 44% of the population living by the coast, they are vulnerable to human-made stressors.

Ideas to Jumpstart Your Thinking

 Los Angeles County is a global hotspot for biodiversity and is home to more than 4,000 distinct species of plants and animals.  With 1 million animal and plant species facing extinction due to human activity, according to the United Nations, efforts to better understand the factors that shape biodiversity in Los Angeles could help shape global conservation efforts.


Wildlife Facts

  • Biodiversity describes the variety of life in a given region. It can refer to the diversity of ecosystems, genetic diversity within a species, or, in the most common sense of the word, diversity of species.
  • Los Angeles County has more species on the U.S. endangered list than any other county outside of Hawaii.
  • 15% of California public land is managed by the Bureau of Land Management to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the land. 
  • Light pollution has decreased within the Santa Monica Mountain National Recreation Area and San Gabriel Mountains over the past 20 years because of the success the National Park Service and others had to reduce light pollution and ecological harm from other human activity in protected areas.
  • SoCal is a biodiversity hotspot with a uniquely high number of species per area.
  • The California newt is the only newt species in the state, and its numbers are declining.
  • Many invasive species start out as pets and are released into the wild by their owner. 
  • California has more native species of animals and plants than any other state in the nation. 
  • California is home to the greatest number of endemic species — those that live nowhere else in the world. 

Helpful Tips

Take a look at the Biodiversity Atlas L.A. which will help scientists and residents alike better understand Los Angeles’ unique environment and see how native, nonnative and endangered species are distributed across the county.  Users can enter any street address in the county and visualize, for example, how likely they are to come across a mountain lion or black bear.

Take a look at Cultures in Biodiversity by the UCLA Laboratory for Environmental Narrative Strategies (LENS).

A Couple of Resources to Help You Brainstorm

Ready to Get Started?

Ideas and questions to kick-start your thinking

Make a documentary

  • How do critters deal with man-made environments?
  • Do public parks matter?

Write your own story

  • What would an ant say if it could talk?
  • Good at crafts? Create a puppet show!

Wild California Films, Class of 2020

1st Place: "Seeds of Hope"

Follows a young woman walking through a city with little vegetation to plant a tree.

2nd Place: "Green Spaces for Happy Faces"

Film by Kathleen Nguyen (Westminster High School)

3rd Place: "No Ceiling"

Troy High School's teacher shares his motive to create an outdoor classroom.
Film by Joseph Dong, Jesse Dong, James Wong, and Bing Wi (Troy High School)

Wild California Films, Class of 2018

1st Place: "Why Do We Need Parks in Cities?"

by Taegan Obermeyer of Providence High School

2nd Place: "Be Kind to Beekind"

by Clara Siliezar of Clairemont High School

3rd Place: "Cataclysm"

by Oscar Ortiz and Yvon Mendija of Environmental Charter High School

Wild CA Films, Class of 2017

1st Place: "Only World"

by Madelyn Paley of Thousand Oaks High School

2nd Place:"DAVE"

by Keely Martin, Ginger Port, Taku Rogers & Victor Guzman of Culver City High School.

3rd Place: "Our Park. Our Future"

by Timur Bootzin & Amanda Contreas of Los Angeles Zoo Magnet/ North Hollywood High School.