Individual Species Research

Individual Species Research

Now, you will focus on one animal species from your taxonomic group that has been found in one or both soft-bottom regions of the LA River. (Note: The name of your LA River group is the taxonomic group you have been assigned to. Your assigned taxonomic group will be one of the following: mammals, birds, insects, fish or reptiles/amphibians. Follow these instructions to view your group assignment (Links to an external site.).)

To see which animal species from your group are present, go to the iNaturalist locations (links below). Then, enter your taxonomic group name into the ‘Species’ box and select the species tab above the map – you will see a list of all of the species from that taxonomic group. If you are in the reptile/amphibian group, you will need to look at reptiles and amphibians separately. As an example, if your taxonomic group was ‘birds’, when you look at the species list for these locations, you might see species like Canada Goose (Links to an external site.) and Snowy Egret (Links to an external site.).

Links to iNaturalist places for soft-bottom stretches of the Los Angeles River:

Los Angeles River – Elysian Valley
Los Angeles River – Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve
Each student from your taxonomic group will need to select a unique animal species, so make sure that you look at all of the posts that have been submitted in order to make sure that you do not choose the same species as someone else. You will be focusing on this species for the rest of the assignments for the LA River Project, so choose carefully!.

Tips for selecting a species:

The species you select must have at least 1 research grade observation within the location boundaries
If possible, I recommend that you pick a species that has multiple observations rather than a species that has only 1 observation across the two sites.
Take a look at the iNaturalist species pages to see how much is known about a species before you select it — this will help you determine if you will be able to find enough information about the biology and ecology of that species to complete the Individual Species Research assignment.
Post Requirements:
Common name and scientific name of your species
Post a photo of your species. To receive full credit, you must include a properly-formatted attribution (like a citation for images and videos) for the image. See the image above for an example and check out the helpful resources below for tips on how to find images and attribute the source of the image. Be sure to insert the images into the discussion post, rather than adding them as attachments to your reply.
A link to at least one credible source of information about your species.
Is your species native or introduced to Los Angeles County?
Wait, what are native and introduced species? A species is native to an area if it occurs there ‘naturally’, meaning due only to local natural evolution. An introduced species is a species that is not native to an area, but rather was transported to that location area by humans or due to human activity. For the purposes of this project, migratory birds are considered to be native species.
To determine if if it is native or introduced to Los Angeles County, click on one of the iNaturalist observations of your species that was made in either of the soft-bottom stretches of the river. If it is an introduced species, you will see a magenta exclamation mark icon after the species name. (See red arrow pointing to the icon in the image below.)
American Bullfrog observation from iNaturalist. Red arrow pointing at the location of a magenta exclamation mark icon after the species name, which indicates that the species is introduced/is not native to the location where the observation was made.

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