Biota of the Baldwin Hills: An Ecological Assessment

The proposed project gathered and updated information about the distribution of species and habitats in the Baldwin Hills region focusing on vegetation, reptiles and amphibians, bats, and mid-sized mammals and disseminate and archive this information in an online format that is readily accessible to park visitors, land managers, and researchers.

In 2001, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and Community Conservancy International released The Biota of Baldwin Hills: An Ecological Assessment (Molina 2001). The report contained chapters on vegetation, arthropods, reptiles and amphibians, birds, and mammals. Although the distribution of species in the Baldwin Hills is not expected to have changed dramatically since 2000, various advances in survey techniques and improved local expertise make it worthwhile to revisit specified topic areas. This is needed to provide baseline information at a scale that is suitable to track restoration of vegetation, to ascertain the status of taxonomic groups left out of previous efforts, and to clarify the status of species in some groups for which previous survey efforts were insufficient.

The project included:

  • Technical Reports: For each of the focal survey areas — vegetation, reptiles, and amphibians, bats, and wildlife connectivity (mammals) — a technical report was produced that documents the methodology, results, and conclusions of the surveys. Two of these will be produced by collaborators and two by project staff.
  • Final Report: The final project report was a written summary of each of the technical reports and describe the online tools that have been developed to share and visualize the biota information.
  • Online Data Management and User Interface: All geographic data from the original biota report, data produced since that time (e.g., weed maps), and data produced as part of this project was incorporated into an online map interface. This interface was built on existing tools (Esri) in a manner that allows for quick access to key information about the region in terms of vegetation, restoration efforts, sensitive species, and infrastructure. It will be built on open-source website coding designed to facilitate exchange of ecological restoration and monitoring data. The user interface was designed to allow uploading of new monitoring data as it is obtained, as well as information about restoration actions that are taken in the various protected lands. For download purposes, all data will be archived at the USC Spatial Sciences Institute Geo-portal.  To ensure that the public has access to this information, an online version of the information about species distribution will be developed and will be accessible using mobile devices
  • Aerial base mapping
  • Field work including trapping, monitoring, surveying and identifying area migratory species

The Results of the Biota Project Can be viewed at

Project Status: Complete

Completion Date: Winter 2016

Project Partners: University of Southern California and Baldwin Hills Conservancy

Total Project Cost: $281,588.59

BHC Prop 1 Grant Amount: $140,794.30