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Urban Ark

In partnership with KCETLink, the Laboratory for Environmental Narrative Strategies (LENS) at the University of California, Los Angeles has launched a year-long collaboration to develop models and media for reporting environmental stories. 

The second storyline, Urban Ark, considers how Los Angeles has inadvertently become a sanctuary city for non-native animal species that are sometimes endangered in their native habitats. The articles, interactive web features, and a documentary short written and produced by UCLA faculty and graduate students raise intriguing questions about human-created urban ecosystems, biodiversity and opportunities for creating sanctuaries for endangered species, including the beloved red-crowned parrot.
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 Parrot facing right. (featured) | Still from "Urban Ark Los Angeles."
Article
Earth Focus

Pasadena Parrots Make a Case for Creating an 'Urban Ark' for Endangered Species

Los Angeles has the potential to become a sanctuary for other endangered species – even those who are not native to Southern California.
 Los Angeles backyards are a patchwork of natural habitats. (featured) | Still from "Earth Focus" episode on urban habitats.
Article
Earth Focus

Backyard Citizen Scientists Unravel Richness of Urban Habitat

A community science program is helping both researchers and citizens understand how vibrant of a nature sanctuary Los Angeles really is.
 Gardens by the Bay, Singapore. (featured) | iStock/CharlieTong
Article
Earth Focus

Designing a City That Makes Room for Nature

Designing cities that consider both animal and human habitats requires time and money but most of all, it requires a desire to imagine a city where we can enjoy reconnecting with the natural world.
 Urban orange tree against white wall. (featured) | iStock/JJFarquitectos
Article
Earth Focus

Edible City: Privileging Tree Aesthetics Misses Opportunity to Feed Our Urban Food Supply

What would the city look like if we considered the food potential of the trees we plant in our city, in addition to their functionality as ornament, erosion control and shade? 
 Hollywood skyline (featured) | iStock
Article
Earth Focus

Is Los Angeles Truly A Hotspot for Biodiversity?

It is true that Los Angeles has rich biological diversity, but what exactly that means depends on whom you ask.
Coyote wakes from nap | Chase Alexander
Article
Earth Focus

PHOTO ESSAY: Life, Death and Coyotes at Evergreen Cemetery

Meet the coyotes who call Los Angeles' oldest cemetery home.
Red-crowned parrots in Pasadena. | Still from "Urban Ark Los Angeles"
Article
Earth Focus

Why the ‘Obsession’ with Urban Biodiversity Could Be a Fatal Distraction

There’s a big difference between a species being present and a species being abundant. “Bioabundance” refers not to the number of species in an area but, to the number of individual creatures present.
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