The Living Desert is open to guests! Learn more about your next visit >>
Celebrating 50 Years of Adventure
The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, Wonderfully Wild. The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, Wonderfully Wild.

survey local ant species

survey local ant species

This year marks the 50th anniversary of a 1970 study on ant biodiversity that was done right here in Coachella Valley’s Deep Canyon. This landmark study revealed the species composition from near sea level up to 8,717 feet, an area of nearly 80 square miles! The study found 59 species of ants in over 20 genera! Today, the Coachella Valley has changed tremendously with many new (human) residents, housing and retail developments, and of course The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, creating a new footprint on the original study area. Also, over 50 years, the climate has changed in our valley and we wish to determine how that may have influenced the ants of Deep Canyon.

To investigate how changing conditions have affected biodiversity since the original study, we are replicating this study as it was done fifty years ago! And, your contribution as a community scientist is essential to this endeavor!

Become a Scientist!

You can help us discover how ant diversity in our valley has changed over fifty years by collecting ant species from the same study area as the original study. It's easy - and fun! Simply follow the protocol below & return your samples to our scientists at The Living Desert. We will identify the species of ant in each sample and then publish the data to a map you can view!

Questions? Contact us at

Search the Living Desert WebsiteMagnifying glass icon