Thank you from the citizen science team!
A big thank you to everyone who took part in the City Nature Challenge: London this year! Despite lockdown restrictions London exceeded last year’s records, making 5,732 nature observations between 24 – 27 April and identifying 1,069 species. The London team were particularly happy to see nearly twice as many people taking part this year – a total of 542 of observers. You can view all the observations made at the City Nature Challenge: London iNaturalist project page.
What is the City Nature Challenge?
The City Nature Challenge began in 2016 as a competition between San Francisco and Los Angeles to record the most wildlife and spread across the USA in 2017. The City Nature Challenge is a BioBlitz event, where people attempt to find, identify and record living things within an area, in a set period of time. The goals of the City Nature Challenge are to connect people in urban areas to their local nature, build online and in-person communities around local data and collect urban biodiversity data available to use for science, management, and conservation.
The Challenge went global in 2018 with 68 cities around the world taking part, including London, Plymouth, Bristol and Bath in the UK. In 2019 more than 150 cities participated, with over 35,000 people making almost one million observations of nature in the four days of the Challenge. This year’s Challenge was the biggest yet with 244 cities taking part across the world.
City Nature Challenge across the UK
This year nine other cities across the UK joined together to encourage everyone to get a bit closer to nature on their doorsteps by submitting wildlife observations to iNaturalist. Afterwards the UK community came together for an online DataBlitz event to help identify photographs taken during the challenge. Across the UK 4,536 people took part, making 71,185 nature observations and finding 3,425 species. You can see all the observations made on the iNaturalist City Nature Challenge: UK project page.
Keep reading our blogs for highlights on what was found during the City Nature Challenge and how you can do your own BioBlitz.
City Nature Challenge is led by The California Academy of Sciences and Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. If you are interested in your city being part of the City Nature Challenge 2021 you can find out more about what is involved and sign up at: https://citynaturechallenge.org
City Nature Challenge: London was led by the Natural History Museum, London in partnership with the Royal Parks, University College London, the Field Studies Council, the Linnean Society, Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park and London Environmental Educators Forum. City Nature Challenge: UK was led by the Bristol Natural History Consortium.