City Nature Challenge April 14-18

It’s on Dallas/Fort Worth. Watch out Boston. You’re going down New York!

City Nature Challenge 2017 pits 16 U.S. cities in a heated race to see which metropolitan area is tops when it comes to urban wildlife.  From now until Tuesday April 22, citizens can accumulate sightings of bugs, birds, lizards, mushrooms and more using social media, especially the iNaturalist app.

At the end of the challenge, the results will be announced on Earth Day, May 22.

Last year, Los Angeles went head-to-head with San Francisco in the first ever City Nature Challenge launched by the Los Angeles Natural History Museum and the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. Combined, participants in those two cities added 21,408 observations to iNaturalist, data that can be used by scientists far and wide to understand and help guide conservation policies for urban wildlife.

SNAP AND GO: iNaturalist is an easy way to learn about nature in your own backyard while helping scientists all over the world.

The Los Angeles Natural History Museum takes advantage of all that smartphone clicking and snapping, using those sightings to help various research projects such as: Snail and Slugs Living in Metropolitan Environment (SLIME), Reptiles and Amphibians of Southern California (RASCals) and the Southern California Squirrel Survey.

Nature lovers can check out the L.A. Nature Map which contains all observations in the L.A. area; the online map is also represented at the Museum’s Nature Lab and has more than 80,000 observations from more than 2,000 people.

How high that number can climb during this year’s City Nature Challenge?  It all depends on how many Southlanders get out there to discover, snap and upload their nature finds. Go on. Get out there.