Diario del proyecto San Francisco Biodiversity

24 de marzo de 2014

Hidden Biodiversity

The Franciscan manzanita, Arctostaphylos franciscana, is San Francisco's unicorn. The Franciscan manzanita is a subtly charming flowering shrub found nowhere else on Earth. Its tragic history is filled with heroic acts by botanists striving to keep the species alive. In 1906, the specimens first used to identify the species were rescued from the California Academy of Sciences by botanist Alice Eastwood as fires driven by the San Francisco earthquake ravaged the Academy’s collections. In 1947 Alice Eastwood and others stood in front of bulldozers to wrest the last known wild plants from a construction site. The plants were sent to the Tilden botanical garden across the bay, and no one found the plant in the wild again.

But in 2009, ecologist Daniel Gluesenkamp spotted a suspicious shrub in an area being cleared of vegetation for the Doyle Drive road-widening project in San Francisco's Presidio. To the delight of botanists worldwide, the shrub turned out to be a Franciscan manzanita, still surviving in the wild.

The manzanita was carefully dug up and re-planted. Today, the manzanita occupies a protected 7-square-foot patch of hillside in the Presidio, where it is cared for. Seeds and cuttings have been taken and nurtured as well in a plan to reintroduce the rare plant.

What other hidden biodiversity is in our city? Maybe it's hiding in your backyard, or in your favorite park? Keep your eyes open, and continue to observe and document the biodiversity all around us!

Publicado el 24 de marzo de 2014 a las 09:18 PM por kestrel kestrel | 2 comentarios | Deja un comentario

07 de febrero de 2013

Help us relocate February collections from the past!

Each month, we're combing through the California Academy of Sciences collections to post the locations of plants collected the same month from the past. We need your help to relocate them! Here's how it works - pick a place to revisit by choosing one of the red circular markers from the map and learn about the specimen you're attempting to relocate. Head for the location and do your best to find the plant. If you can, take an observation and make sure to fill out the Target Specimen Number field with the Global Unique Identifier for the specimen and enter yes in the Target Relocated field. If you can't find the plant, take an observation of another plant or animal you found at that spot instead. Enter the 'target specimen number' you were searching for along with no for 'target relocated'. Along the way, take as many other observations you can to help us document San Francisco biodiversity!

Ideally, write a journal post describing your expedition. You can read one of mine here about my attempt to relocate a fragrant fritillary collected 123 years ago to the day. This population is most likely extinct, but I documented 15 other plants I found in its place!

Publicado el 07 de febrero de 2013 a las 06:06 AM por loarie loarie | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario