Endangered Plants of Westchester and Fairfield Counties

April 12, 2018 - All

While it is easy to get lists of threatened and endangered plants by state, it is not so easy to do this by county. The Greenwich Land Trust has tasked me with providing them with a list of endangered plants on their lands (over 700 acres) in lower Fairfield county adjacent to southern Westchester county. In an attempt to come up with an list of endangered plants by county I hit on the idea of gathering the lists of endangered plants from New York state, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island and comparing them. I found these lists on the US government site Natural Resource Conservation Service. By scraping the state listings of this site using Beautiful Soup and pulling up shared plants, I discovered that Rhode Island and Massachusetts each share only one endangered plant with Connecticut and nothing with New York, so I discarded these two states. Connecticut and New York shared 31 endangered plants, I extrapolated from this fact, and decided that Westchester and Fairfield counties would be the likeliest place for these 31 endangered plants to be found (or not found). Once I had a list of over thirty endangered plants, likely to be found in Westchester and Fairfield county, I then gathered information and details about these plants from several other websites. I created a dictionary in python of the name of each plant, its unique identifier from wikidata.org, its identifier from PlantList.org, its identifier from Tropicos.org and its url in Gobotany.org. My professor then provided code in python, to turn this into a json document, and to allow my code to loop through it like a dictionary in order to pull up specific information from each website. I used Beautiful Soup to do this.

› tags: culture / programming / python /