The Great Smoky Mountains just reached a major milestone: 20,000 species
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park made a big announcement Thursday: it has reached a "biodiversity milestone" with the documentation of 20,000 species of animals, plants and other organisms discovered in the park.
Scientists from all around the world helped find and document all these different species, the park said in a news release.
"Reaching this milestone is a testament to the curiosity, tenacity and dedication of the biological community," Cassius Cash, the superintendent of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, said in the release. "Each year, we have scientists who share their time and expertise to help us better describe, understand and protect the wonders of the Smokies."
How have they tracked all these species? Through an All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory, or ATBI for short. The project is managed by Discover Life in America (DLiA) and studies the diversity of life in the Smokies, the release said.