Sometimes LA seems like an endless stretch of strip malls and freeways. But LA is more than that! LA is part of the California Floristic Province, a biodiversity hotspot. In its wide range of habitats, from deserts to beaches, there are many wonderful, fascinating plants, animals, and fungi figuring out how to live side by side with us.
The way flora and fauna survive this concrete jungle is a story, in and of itself. Or rather, it’s thousands of different stories. The way everything, from parakeets to western sycamore, lives in LA can be difficult to grasp. But the experts at the Natural History Museum of LA County wrote LA Wild: Explore the Amazing Nature in and Around Los Angeles to help all of us get a handle on the natural world in and around LA.
In Wild LA you can read about the tropical green sea turtles of Long Beach, who live in waters warmed by a power plant. There’s information about blue gum eucalyptus trees that were planted in LA inititally as timber, then as windbreaks, and then just because Abbot Kinney liked them. How about Argentine ants? Argentine ants are the most common ants in LA. You see them everyday. They outcompete other ant species because all of the Argentine ants in LA are part of one super colony that stretches from San Diego to Northern California. Talk about urban sprawl.
Not only does Wild LA tell you the backstories of your plant and animal neighbors, it tells you where to find them. It turns out you don’t have to go far to experience nature in LA and you don’t have to look hard. This book will help you do that. You can even turn to Wild LA’s field trip section to find maps of local nature spots with information on the plants and animals. For example, there is a map of the Nature Gardens at the Natural History Museum with notes on where to park, when to visit, and what you can see there. If you’ve ever found yourself out and about in LA, happened across a plant or animal, and wondered “What is this?” Wild LA is the book for you.
To find out more about the authors, Lila M.Higgins, Gregory B. Pauly, Jason G. Goldman, Charles Hood, and what they do at the museum, click here.
This book is available on e-media.