And the winner is: La Paz in Bolivia!

In the CNC 2023 the most observations by far where made by La Paz in Bolivia. More than 120000 have been uploadid by more than 3009 participants.
That means an average amount of 42 Observations per observer. But Research quality gained only about 10 Percent of the Observations.

Has anybody an explanation for this? Was the participation ordered by some authoritiy, like state of Bolivia, C
ity Counsel of La Paz, Universities, schools, churches? I am just curious.

5 Likes

Read on the previous year, they get lots of school students who go around and observe the same things together, not really the best idea esp. with an area where people could win by regular observing. 34% are casual observations, and people are far from being done with marking those, not sure why cnc still accepts such records.

13 Likes

CNC admin needs to promote IDs. Before, and AFTER the cutoff. I am still working thru Unknowns for the Cape Peninsula. Then I will move out across the greater City, the Western Cape and … Africa. If I don’t clear CNC deliberately, they lurk in my target of clearing Unknowns on a daily basis. We need more active identifiers - especially where people are actively encouraged to ‘dump’ thousands of nameless obs.

10 Likes

Last year, the CNC invited Rob Wallace, the lead CNC organizer for La Paz to talk about how the CNC activated so many observers. His answer basically boiled down to partnerships.

3 Likes

Everyone is curious.

Having spent the last couple of weeks IDing La Paz garden plants and marking them casual, it seems most of the people who uploaded the photos have never looked at iNat since that weekend. Today I went through the observations of one person who did 300 on one day. They seem to have walked down a couple of streets and around a park, photographing and uploading every captive plant they saw, at a rate of one per minute. I have to admire their persistence, but really, what was the point? They have never logged on since that one day, so apparently have no interest in the IDs that have been added since.

14 Likes

Maybe if the target display was reset to (quality) number of species.
Instead of a blunt quantity - EVERYBODY observe that planted tree, thank you.
Encouraging new first-timers and smaller cities to target missing species makes a challenge that every observer can enjoy. Cape Town forgot our penguins first time around!

La Paz still wins - but with a meaningful victory showcasing their wide biodiversity - and within the friendly spirit of iNat.

(Mrs Crabby requests all previous participants to clear their CNC backlogs from previous years. Thank you. Or I will disqualify you )
:sob: :scream: :rofl:

8 Likes

Maybe to let organizers say that their CNC is number one as far as observations are concerned?

3 Likes

It’s up to each city organizer whether to include casual observations or not. I decided not to in my city, since for me it kind of goes against the point of the CNC, but I guess for some it’s interesting and a way to engage more people?

3 Likes

But it’s easy for main project to just say “no casuals here”, there’re top observers with all of their records lacking photos, tons of kids who, as said by others, didn’t really learn anything or weren’t interested at all, probably forced by schools to go out that day. imo CNC shouldn’t be about makng photos of each pot you see around in your town, unless something wild is actually living there!
So, in the end it probably makes you a winner by numbers alone, but it doesn’t help exploring the area, and actual good observers or potential kid observers who’d like iNat are lost among planted stuff, rather make less observations, but make them better.

10 Likes

Even if they allow cultivated plants, I don’t think observations of pets, farm animals, and of humans should be counted towards the total. La Paz so far has 246 domestic dogs, 242 domestic horses, 172 domestic cows, 116 domestic sheep, 87 domestic cats, and 79 humans. I say “so far” because there are still 24,000 unknowns, so I’m sure those totals will increase.

5 Likes

They should be counted if they are wild, if not it’s the same as plant situation, I think we all mean everything non wild when we talk about plants, those are just the most common things to post.

1 Like

It does appear that if you “play fair” with the CNC you won’t score very high. I definitely agree that anything that ends up as Casual shouldn’t count.

3 Likes

In my normal iNaturalizing, I don’t post Casual observations very often at all, mostly just for quite unusual sightings, like when there were two Fishers in the ferns next to my porch in the middle of a small town.

But during the CNC, I use Casual observations to record species I can’t get a photo or recording of, especially birds, calling amphibians, and basking turtles. Yes, it helps my personal species count and I’ll admit I’m competitive enough to like that, but it also definitely contributes to the data of how many species were present on those four days. So I think Casual observations have a place in the CNC, but I want those Casual observations to be of wild species, not pets and cultivated plants.

But until the global CNC organizers find a practical and efficient way to disqualify observations of captive and cultivated organisms - one that doesn’t require overworked identifiers to spend days, weeks, months marking observations as Not Wild - I don’t see a way around the issue.

1 Like

Oh! Because Cape Town deliberately makes it clear - no dogs, cats or people - I presumed that applied across CNC. The rules should be consistent. We can at least compare our own results across the years.

https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/city-nature-challenge-2023-city-of-cape-town

@vireya if we counted by species - that would only give them 6 more.

2 Likes

Might be hard to separate those out since there is no obvious difference in iNat classification between a wild bird you saw but didn’t photo in your CNC area compared to a captive bird you saw in your local zoo. Both end up as Casual. If your CNC area has a zoo and/or botanical garden, you could really increase your count (unfairly, in my opinion).

2 Likes

Imo it’d be hard to check who’s posting true recording, I have no doubt you will, but when there’re users who already only post blank observations, I’m sure those who want to win no matter what will fabricate sightings, it’s not hard really, make thousands of observation of each plant specimen you saw, just count how many, and it’ll be already “legit”, but you can just make them up off the air.

Don’t even need that, I went around houses for weeds and insects, if I photographed every planted species species count would sky rocket for an area like this one where it’s low.

2 Likes

Since CNC is hosted at iNat, but organised from outside, this thread needs to reach @kestrel for a response.

1 Like

Maybe next year I’ll include my local zoo, botanical park, aquarium, and pet shops in my CNC iNatting. But probably not. As already stated, what would be the point?

4 Likes

I think most CNCs allow Casual observations, although I could be wrong. Certainly the global CNC organizers emphasize to the local organizers over and over again that the observers should work on wild organisms.

2 Likes

Yep, that’s what makes Casual observations difficult.

1 Like