Simply put, biodiversity is the variety of all living things in a given place.
California can lead the world protecting our natural diversity. And in doing so, combat a mass extinction crisis in which animals and plant species are disappearing across our planet at alarming rates. California is recognized as one of the world’s 33 “biodiversity hotspots,” with more kinds of plants and animals than almost any other place. Given this abundance of nature and the pressure it faces amidst modern society, Californians need to take new actions to protect California’s one-of-a-kind community of plants and animals. This includes better understanding the status of biodiversity in California and finding innovative ways to protect plants and animals well before they are endangered.
Watch our Secretary Speaker Series event about California's natural diversity and strategies to protect and expand our unique community of plants and animals.
In 2017, a group of 26 scientific experts from across the state’s universities, herbaria, and conservation organizations created the a call to action to secure and recover the abundance and richness of native plants and animals in California, under current and changing climate conditions. Governor Brown responded by launching the California Biodiversity Initiative in 2018. The goal of the Biodiversity Initiative is to secure the future of California’s biodiversity by integrating biodiversity protection into the state’s environmental and economic goals and efforts.
The California Biodiversity Council (CBC) was formed in 1991 to improve coordination and cooperation between the various resource management and environmental protection organizations at federal, state, and local levels. Strengthening ties between local communities and governments has been a focus of the Council by way of promoting strong local leadership and encouraging comprehensive solutions to regional issues.
Interested helping preserve biodiversity? All you need is smart phone and the iNaturaist app. Every observation can contribute to biodiversity science, from the rarest butterfly to the most common backyard weed. iNaturalist shares your findings with scientific data repositories like the Global Biodiversity Information Facility to help scientists find and use your data. All you have to do is observe.