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Atlas Projects

Plant and animal atlases provide information on the distribution, abundance, and long-term change of species in a particular geographic area. The San Diego Natural History Museum has developed a collection of Atlas projects to promote a deeper understanding of the biodiversity of southern California.

Not only do these projects give researchers, citizen scientists, and the general public an unprecedented collection of information about the flora and fauna in San Diego County, but they’re an important tool that offers baseline distribution data that can be used to show change over time. 

The Amphibian and Reptile Atlas of Peninsular California documents species in Southern and Baja California via an online database. Using Museum collection data and observations from citizen scientists, this binational effort brings biodiversity information to your fingertips. Citizen scientists can contribute by uploading their observations and recording which species live in their neighborhoods and parks, or on the region's islands and mountaintops. More.

The San Diego County Bird Atlas is one of the most ambitious research projects the Museum has ever undertaken. It establishes a new benchmark for knowledge of birds in this region—a region that has more species than any other in the country. The San Diego County Bird Atlas was published in 2004. The book is in the museum store , and some information can be found online as well. With this atlas, the birds of San Diego County are now among the best known in the world. More.

The Plant Atlas is an online database that began in 2003 with a goal of increasing scientific knowledge of the flora in San Diego area while offering an amazing resource available to the general public. Over the course of the project, over 300 new county records, 10 new state records, and two new plant taxa have been discovered, all of which account for a considerable increase in the diversity of our local flora. More.

The San Diego County Mammal Atlas is a highly collaborative effort to fill data gaps about the distribution, ecology, and conservation status of our local mammal species. Maps and other data are being developed into a book and CD. The Atlas will offer a definitive local reference on the identification, ecology, and conservation needs of mammals in San Diego County. More.