By Jen Shook
Once famous for its gold deposits, the San Francisco area now hosts a different treasure. The Golden Gate National Parks that surround the city are home to over 35 endangered, rare, and threatened species. The parks are a unique biodiversity hotspot, as they include marine habitats, redwood forests, woodlands and savannas, grasslands, and marshes—all part of the UNESCO Golden Gate Biosphere Reserve. With these diverse ecosystems sitting at the doorstep of a major metropolitan area, the Golden Gate National Parks were an ideal location for the 8th annual National Geographic/National Park Service BioBlitz.
This year, on March 28th and 29th, around 9,000 people including students and citizen scientists joined inventories to help document species in the parks. At the end of the 24 hour inventory, the initial species count was 2,304 species—the largest scientific species count of any National Geographic/National Park Service BioBlitz to date. This photo gallery showcases some of the incredible species observed at the event.