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City Nature Challenge is Back

City Nature Challenge is Back

Citizen scientists have the opportunity to compete to see who can submit the most observations about nature. This is the fifth annual City Nature Challenge, and last year 244 cities across six continents made over 815,000 observations and of those over 1,300 observations were made of rare, endangered or threatened species! In 2019, the City of Port Aransas made it on the leaderboard for some of the highest observations made per capita.

Kicking off April 30 at 12:01 am in each time zone, the Challenge runs through May 3, 11:59 pm. The global event calls on current and aspiring citizen scientists, nature and science fans, and people of all ages and education backgrounds to observe and submit pictures of wild plants, animals, and fungi using the free mobile app iNaturalist.

The goal is to see what city can record the most wildlife. Anyone with a smart phone or digital camera and computer can play! Identification of photographed species will be crowdsourced through the online community and by local scientists with an ID party on May 7th at 9 a.m. at the Port Aransas Nature Preserve Pavilion, located at the end of Port Street in Port Aransas. Challenge results will be announced in late May.

Nature exists in every city, and one of the best ways to study it is by connecting scientists and the community through citizen science. As global human populations become increasingly concentrated in cities, it’s more important than ever to document urban biodiversity and help ensure the future of plants and wildlife. Large pools of data built through iNaturalist, natural history museums, and science organizations help authorities make informed conservation decisions that allow humans to coexist sustainably with the plants and animals in their neighborhoods.

By participating you can help collect data for scientists on the biodiversity of the Island. It’s a great opportunity to get with others who love the outdoors and see get outdoors. For both budding and veteran citizen scientists, participating is easy:

1.         Find wildlife. It can be any wild plant, animal, fungi, slime mold, or any other evidence of life (scat, fur, tracks, shells, carcasses!) found in your participating city.

2.         Take pictures of what you find using iNaturalist or your city’s chosen platform.

3.         Learn more as your observations get identified!

Learn more at citynaturechallenge.org 

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