The City Nature Challenge (CNC) is an annual four-day global bioblitz held at the end of April. Basically, a bioblitz is an event that focuses on finding and identifying as many species as possible in a specific area over a short period of time. Cities participating in the CNC 2023 are in a collaboration-meets-friendly-competition to see how many living things we can photograph and document in a four-day period (28 April - 1 May).
Te Matau a Māui - Hawke's Bay have signed up for the third year in a row to be part of this awesome global challenge. We have signed up as a region, so you can join the challenge wherever you are in the Hawke's Bay rohe, from Pōrangahau to Mōrere, Mahia to Taharua, and everywhere in between. Other New Zealand entries this year are Auckland/Tāmaki Makaurau, Ngāmotu/New Plymouth, Kāpiti Coast, Wellington, and Ōtautahi/Christchurch.
Sign in to iNaturalistNZ and check out how we did last year - we made over one thousand observations and recorded over 400 species of living things in Hawke's Bay!!! Below are some examples of observations made in the 2022 City Nature Challenge....
The City Nature Challenge takes place in two parts:
28 April - 1 May: Take photos of living things in nature e.g plants, insects, fish, fungi, birds etc
2 May - 7 May: Identify what was observed / photographed
The fastest and easiest way to take part is to download the free iNaturalistNZ App (the platform used to collect the photos and data) and then it's as easy as 1....2.....3....
1. Get out in nature
2. Open the iNaturalist App and take a photo
3. Click the 'share' button on the app to share your photo with others so it can be identified
You can download the iNaturalistNZ App from the App Store or Google Play on your mobile phone.
Nature is all around us, in our cities, neighbourhoods, and even in our homes. One of the best ways to study nature and its biodiversity is by connecting scientists and local community members through community science. Knowing what species are in our city / region and where they are helps us study and protect them through conservation, research, and monitoring, but the ONLY way to do that is by all of us – community, land owners, councils and scientists – working together to find and document the nature in our area.
Anyone can participate. Kids love it, as do families and individuals. You don't have to be a photographer or a scientist to participate and there are loads of resources to help you - check them out here on the CNC FAQ's page. By the community engaging and working with nature we can all work together towards restoring and enhancing our precious biodiversity.
Denise Fastier, Department of Conservation Senior Ranger (Biodiversity), strongly encourages everyone to get out and have a go. “Maybe you could have a family competition? Let’s give the rest of the country a run for their money. You can even start in your own backyard! And it is not restricted to native species,” says Ms Fastier.
Ms Fastier notes that you don’t even need to know what you are photographing – there are scientists and specialists all over NZ keyed in to check on their area of interest who will help with that (which is where the education comes in). The key is to take the best photos you can which will enable them to do that. There is a guide for how to take a good (identifiable) photo on the i-naturalist website https://www.inaturalist.org/guides/2465
For more information visit https://citynaturechallenge.org/
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