The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County recently published “Wild L.A.: Explore the Amazing Nature In and Around Los Angeles,” a book equal parts local nature stories, field guide and trip planner.
Los Angeles is the second most densely populated city in the United States and a major biodiversity hotspot. With the book, the museum is showing residents and visitors that the urban environment is teeming with nature.
“Wild L.A.” was co-written by NHM Community Science Senior Manager Lila Higgins, NHM Herpetology Curator and Urban Nature Resource Center Co-Director Greg Pauly, science journalist Jason Goldman, and poet and naturalist Charles Hood. The book includes 10 chapters on species found in the L.A. area, including more than 100 accounts describing local plants and animals and ways to identify them. It also includes guides for 25 hikes and offers information on how to track insects and learn about the Pleistocene Age at La Brea Tar Pits and Museum. “Wild L.A.” also highlights naturalization, migration, climate change, extinction and human impact while promoting urban engagement with the natural world.
“We live in a place with amazing nature,” Pauly said. “With so much change due to the rapid growth of agriculture and then urban development, every species here has an amazing story to tell.”
“Many of us think that nature is something that is far away, that we have to make a special trip to discover,” Higgins added. “We hope this book changes people’s minds about that and inspires them to protect and nurture nature in our city.”
NHM is holding a “Wild L.A.” book launch on Tuesday, March 26, from 6 to 9 p.m. The event will include a panel discussion with the authors on the research and stories in the book, followed by a Q&A session. Special museum collections highlighting elements of the book will be on display from 6 to 7 p.m. Admission is free but reservations are required by visiting nhm.org/wildla.
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