City Nature Challenge 2022

It’s going to be a nail biter. Can dandelion dethrone the mallard as the top observation of City Nature Challenge 2022?

Also, what is up with La Paz Bolivia? They are absolutely smoking with almost 117,000 observations, more than double Cape Town’s observations who was last year’s CNC top observers.

Me? My little community reached our goal of 250 observation thanks to some VERY committed observers. Next year, I think I the goal will be to increase the number of observers rather than how many observations we make.

It’s fun watching the numbers roll in. What’s happening in your community’s CNC?


I’ve always found it strange how certain bees and birds wind up being the most commonly observed organisms. I personally find that type of photo to be much harder to get than say, a Pine tree, or a Dandelion. Moving, skiddish target and all. Less than 0.1% of my observations are Mallards for example.
Perhaps the thrill of the hunt motivates people to take those photos more, even though they’re “harder”?
I’m not sure of the exact local numbers, but it “felt like” about 10x as many observations were being uploaded here compared to normal days.


Last year my county group had 443 observations and this year we have 753. Of the 753 observations, 683 were recorded by the top 3 observers. Last year, our top 6 species were 4 lichens, a fungus, and a fern. This year, our top species include only 1 fungus, 3 bird species (including mallard), willow, and colt’s foot (a common weed in this area). The weather was absolutely dismal (rain or rain mixed with snow) for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Monday was beautiful, and that’s when I found most of my observations.

It’s challenging to have the CNC at this time of year for my part of the world. Many plants have not yet emerged, many are in early bud so no leaves are present, many bird species have not yet arrived, and many insects have not yet emerged. This explains the reliance on lichens and tree fungi! I wish that CNC could move by a couple of months each year, so that different parts of the world would have different opportunities to record observations at different times of the year. This would allow us all to share new things and record new observations, and participate during different seasons.


I second the idea for slight seasonal shifts. Very hard to show off biodiversity when you’re still getting snowed on.


We have a Southern Bioblitz in September to allow Cape Town and Down South to compete out of our off season.
Awed by the biodiveristy in La Paz, atho the most observed species there are the familiar cosmopolitan ones and even the Australian wattles which are invasive here too.


Mallards are easy to photograph with anything you have, like smartphone, so I doubt people have any thrill looking at them (in general, they’re nice birds, just common), it’s just a cosmopolite species that is tolerant to humans.


A September Bioblitz makes sense for your part of the world! I still think it would be fun for the northerly parts of the northern hemisphere to have a Middle of the Year/Middle of Nowhere bioblitz, for four days around the end of June/beginning of July. Essentially, an excuse to go somewhere where not many iNatters have been and see what’s there.


That’s a pretty good idea.


Organize one for your region! Tag a group of committed iNatters in a Journal post (call it the July ‘insert region here’ iNat bioblitz (or gathering), discuss what may be a good location, pick a date and have fun! It doesn’t have to be a global event.


That was discussed previously and as iNat doesn’t organize CNC there’s nothing it can do to it, imo we just need another global event in July, many far Northern places have snow in June.

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Don’t tempt me! I already organized a two-day plant ID blitz this year and I’ve volunteered to help organize the CNC that’s closest to me for next year. And maybe this will be the third year for MIIDGE (the Massachusetts Invertebrate Interlude Days with Great Expectations); I need to chat with the co-organizer. I’m supposed to be retired!

Although it might be fun to have a scouting trip for the Middle/Middle blitz this year…


I organized the CNC in Berlin this year, and although we didn’t get as many as some other cites we did have the most participants (103) of any city in Germany!

Another thing that was great this year compared to 2020 and 2021 was being able to do some in-person events again - we had two guided walks/meetups in different protected areas where we found a bunch of awesome stuff, including Grass snakes, newts, weird moths, and tons of other cool things!


I organized our county’s CNC this year and while we didn’t have great participant numbers (we had 40 observers versus 21 over the same period last year, which was not part of the CNC) we had great observation numbers >10x last year’s total & species numbers about 10x. We had pretty good weather which helped.

Hats off to Erie, PA which for a small area (100,000 people or so) had great participation - more than 200 observers!


Meanwhile, a few easy cleanups on the Unknowns and State of matter Life aisle…


I’ve got my city filtered to Unknowns in one tab and the boilerplate telling observers they can add their own initial general IDs in another tab.

Because I might as well try to educate as I identify. :smile:


I know the timing of the CNC is problematic for many geographic regions in terms of getting people psyched about observing. The organizers of the CNC know it too. When they picked the dates, they did not realize it would grow to be a global project.

I want to leverage some of the interest the CNC has created in iNat by activating those who have heard about it but haven’t contributed (or maybe just contributed to one or two observations). I am thinking of doing a Solstice BioBlitz. Anyway, that’s a different thread.

Mallard is growing closer to Dandelion and La Paz keeps its solid lead.

I’m pretty proud of my plucky little CNC. We only had 5 observers while the projects immediately above and below us in observations numbers have at least as twice as many.


I’ve always been impressed with Cape Town for doing as well as they have with regards to the time of year and their climate. If it is like the equivalent of Southern California October, that is a very dry and dusty time.

I just looked up the climate of La Paz, pretty interesting due to the elevation. It seems to be cool in temperature year-round but drier in the winter, no snow to speak of.

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Reckon the UK community would be up for this. It’s only really just getting coordinated and I think most of us world agree spring isn’t the best, the last few years we’ve had storms over at least part of it and even on a good weekend it’s a push to id plants vegativley which many aren’t interested in. @SteveMcBill can you take this to the partnership?

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I’m seeing a whole lot of observations that should be tagged for the City Nature Challenge 2022, but are not posting to that project? I don’t seem able to tag someone else’s observations for the CNC…I know I had to manually add the project to my observations. Are people aware that they have to join the project to have their observations counted?

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