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Animals, plants and habitat

Biodiversity in King County, Washington

To offer a suggestion or report an error on the King County Biodiversity website, please contact Jennifer Vanderhoof, senior ecologist.

Biodiversity of Wildlife - Animals and Plants - in King County, Washington State

Biodiversity in King County

This page is the portal to biodiversity topics specific to King County. Please check back regularly, as we are actively building this site.

What is biodiversity in King County and why is it important?

First of all, what is biodiversity? Simply stated, biological diversity is life in all its forms. There are many definitions for biodiversity, and as you explore this web site, you can learn all about what biodiversity is.

King County Biodiversity Report 2008

King County Biodiversity Report

What is the biodiversity of King County? Glad you asked. We are pleased to introduce the first compendium of biodiversity information about King County. Read the King County Biodiversity Report.

The importance of biodiversity

Why is biodiversity important? First of all, biodiversity supports such diverse activities as agriculture, horticulture, selective breeding, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, pulp and paper, water purification and waste treatment. Most recently, the value of biodiversity to climate moderation and ecosystem resilience is receiving much attention. We are only beginning to realize the ways in which biodiversity will impact and be impacted by climate change. In short, human life depends on biodiversity.

A few of the more studied values or benefits of biodiversity include:

  • Purification of air and water
  • Soil fertility
  • Food, fuel, and fiber
  • Stabilization and moderation of climate
  • Moderation of floods, droughts, temperature extremes, and forces of wind
  • Control of pests and disease
  • Genetic resources for crop varieties, animal breeds, medicines
  • Pollination of plants, including 95% of the world's crops

Get involved!

How can you get involved in conserving biodiversity in the County? Our Get Involved page lists just a few ideas. If you know of more, let us know and we'll add them to the page!

Building a Biodiversity Calendar

Each year special days and weeks are celebrated to raise awareness about the importance of biodiversity. We can build a calendar around these spotlights.

  • Earth Day is April 22. Earth Day Network's year-round mission is to broaden, diversify and activate the environmental movement worldwide, through a combination of education, public policy, and consumer campaigns.
  • Endangered Species Day. On May 15, 2015, the Fish and Wildlife Service observed Endangered Species Day in order to recognize the national conservation effort to protect our nation’s endangered species and their habitats.
  • International Biodiversity Day is also in May. The theme for 2015 is Biodiversity for Sustainable Development.
  • International Migratory Bird Day, in May. Each year celebrates a different theme. "Restore Habitat, Restore Birds" is the IMBD 2015 theme, chosen to focus on the importance of habitat to birds, using the beautiful work of artist Amelia Hansen. See to learn more.
  • National Pollinator Week will be June 20-26 in 2016. Pollinating animals, including bees, birds, butterflies, bats, beetles and others, are vital to our delicate ecosystem, supporting terrestrial wildlife, providing healthy watersheds, and more. provides information and free materials each year to bring awareness to this critically important topic. And of course be sure to visit our pollinator page for lots of great info and references.

International Year of Biodiversity: 2010

The United Nations declared 2010 as the International Year of Biodiversity. 2010 is long gone, but you can still learn more about biodiversity by visiting the Convention on Biological Diversity's web site.

Related information

Related agencies

News and announcements

Apr. 29, 2009
External opinion, Seattle Times 
Warming to "Earth" — Disney's cinematic lesson about climate change

Mar. 11, 2009
External article, Seattle Times
Climate Researchers Seek Citizen Scientists

Sept. 23, 2008
External article, Seattle Times 
State hopes frogs raised in captivity will help lead comeback in wild

Aug. 1, 2008
External article, Seattle Times
Headed for the wild at the speed of ... a turtle

July 30, 2008
External article, Bellevue Reporter
Audubon Birdloop to open at Marymoor