Hong Kong plants, November 2019

At least a couple classes are visiting arboretums, gardens, and malls and photographing lots of plants. Nearly all are cultivated and aren’t marked as such. I’ve gone through many to mark them cultivated (and sometimes identify) but there are hundreds. If some of you would be willing to check more, that would be useful. Identifications are simpler than they might be because some of the plants are labeled and because multiple people photo some of the same individual plants.

EDIT: Wait a week or two before fixing things. The massive project includes a planned time to “clean up” observations. See below.


There’s so many of them…


Yes, I did a bunch until my laptop got too hot.


Hopefully it won’t be a repeat of the WKU project from 2017, otherwise that’ll be a lot of plants…


Hi All,

Thanks for this! I’m the main organiser for the Hong Kong Inter-School City Nature Challenge and many of the observations you’ve seen are as a consequence of this event. Students from many schools are currently taking observations in and around their school campus. We feel this is a great way for students to be informed of the species, both wild and cultivated, around their neighbourhoods.

(FYI, I did this last year also: www.inaturalist.org/projects/hong-kong-inter-school-city-nature-challenge-2018)

Much like the City Nature Challenge, there will be an ‘ID period’ which will last a week after the competition week where they can ‘smarten up’ their observations by adding more details such as ‘first level IDs’ and ‘Captive/Cultivated’ etc. I have also organised an ‘ID Session/party’ next week where staff, experts and volunteers can help with this process.

We obviously REALLY appreciate any assistance with IDing that you can give and of course any positive and constructive feedback to our participants. :)

@sedgequeen: If you see any pictures from indoor malls, please let me know and I can let the relevant school representative know. I have encouraged schools to abide by a set of rules that you can see on our resources website: www.hkiscnc.org

Cheers Everyone!


Not indoor malls. I probably used the wrong word. Urban streets would have been better.

Glad to know you’re on top of this, @shellfishgene .


This reminds me of other threads on the value of waiting a week before tackling identifications.

or more

If the students are new users then the account creation filter may work to filter these out for a week.

Kudos to @shellfishgene for organizing the nature challenge, getting a new generation connected to nature, and for being so responsive!


This project reminded me that for many urban kids, “nature” is virtually unknown. I’m glad they are able to interact with all those diverse cultivated plants, but for some students, the only actually wild things posted were the ants and snails. Still, it’s great they’re getting out to see organisms other than humans!


Yes, that is so cool! To get acquainted with totally new groups of life like “bugs”, fungi… something you did not know anything about, not even that they exist. Isn’t that coming out of your bubble, and seeing the world as new again…?


To the organizers of this Bioblitz in Hong Kong, PLEASE have everyone ID their observations to at least something. Everyone knows what a plant or animal is, so at least tell everyone to properly annotate their observations as such. Otherwise these observations are going to linger around in purgatory forever in the thousands and thousands of unknowns already from Hong Kong.


Ok, these initiatves are often great but can you guarantee that all observations of non-wild organisms (cultivated or in captivity) will be flagged as casual as soon as possible? I have just taken a quick look and there seem to be very few wild organisms in your project…

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I don’t think anyone can guarantee anything 100%. Glad to know the project is arranged so that most of these will get changed to cultivated. No doubt iNatters can clean up some of the remainder.

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Hi All,

Thanks for all of your comments on this.

As you may or may not know, Hong Kong is a dense urbanised city yet our urban ecology is not as studied as other aspects in our territory. Ultimately, this exercise will be successful for what we do find AND successful for what we don’t. It is consensus that cities with high urban biodiversity are aligned with better public health and so we want to make a point with our results whatever they may be.

With regards to making 1st level IDs (e.g. plant, insect, etc), To counter this, we have an ID week (11-15/11) directly after the competition week (4-10/11) where students can review their observations and amend them by adding more details or first level IDs, like ‘plant’, etc. I have also organised an ID party on Monday where WWF-HK volunteers will look to the various school projects and add first level or specific IDs.
Currently, there are 143 pages of unknowns on this project and hopefully we will get through the vast majority of them before the ID week finishes on Friday 15th and the results can be published.

Once again, thanks for all of your time on offering IDs. I feel sure that your input is nurturing our young people’ curiosity. :)


(And now, students are photographing a botanic garden in Rio de Janeiro! I’m not even going to look. I’m just going to hope this project has a clean-up week, too.)

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Is there a search which will bring up these photos? If so I’ll flag some when I have time.

This is the link for all the wild (that is including what is still has not flagged as casual) observations of the Hong Kong project:

Which is the name of the Rio de Janeiro project?

Let’s give them a little time. Then, search on Rio de Janeiro and see what turns up. Looks like there aren’t nearly as many students involved as in @shellfishgene’s huge Hong Kong project.

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