Friday, June 01, 2007

The Backyard Biodiversity Project - Day 1

From rainforests to deserts biodiversity has become an important environmental issue. But what is biodiversity? In simple language, it means the variety of living things. Rainforests are home to many different kinds of plants and animals and therefore have great biodiversity.

But biodiversity isn’t just something that happens far away in remote or exotic places. No matter where you live, biodiversity is all around you. You are a part of it.

Whether you live in the city or the countryside, you share your environment with plants and animals. The animals may be small, the plants may be struggling to grow between cracks in concrete sidewalks, but still they are there trying to survive. Who are these neighbors we often do not notice? That is what the Backyard Biodiversity Project is all about.

Around the world biologists and botanists are documenting the types of animals and plants in distant jungles and remote badlands. In many places, they are discovering plants and creatures that no one has identified before or they are redicovering living things we thought had disappeared. But who is looking in your backyard?

Today I started documenting the plant and animal species here on one small piece of the planet.

Field Notes:
This morning Zone 17, the driveway . I thought the first species would be a plant, but right now a fox squirrel is looking at me beligerently from the zone. She is the first living thing recorded on this first day – an alien species, aggressive and thriving. Above me a mourning dove watches from the phone line, calm, native and wondering what I'm doing on the driveway on my hands and knees looking at snail shells and spider webs. It's a good start.

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