City Nature Challenge: a 4-day global bioblitz to collect flora & fauna data

The City Nature Challenge is a friendly nature competition that goes on across the globe for four days, April 30 to May 3, 2021.

The competition is to see which city can show the most wildlife in their area, including wild plants, animals, insects, mushrooms, fish, turtles – anything that can be photographed with a smartphone and sent to the iNaturalist app.


Taking part is easy!

  • Find wildlife (birds, insects, plants, amphibians, reptiles, mammals) in your yard, nearby park, or any other place outside.
  • Snap a photo of what you find with your smart phone or digital camera.
  • Share your observation on the iNaturalist.org website or on the iNaturalist mobile app and it will be automatically added to the contest project.

You can participate any time during the four days for as long as you want; each observation will count toward the overall species count goal.

Family and friends are encouraged to participate in the City Nature Challenge and share observations on social media using #CityNatureChallenge when you share photos!

The City Nature Challenge was created by the California Academy of Science and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County in 2016 and has expanded the citizen science event to take place on six continents. Observations gathered during these surveys become open-source data that help scientists inform resource management and detect patterns of global change.

The collaboration/contest begins April 30 at 12:01 a.m. in each time zone and runs through May 3, 11:59 p.m. People of all ages are encouraged to participate and the collective scientific efforts from participants around the world will be tallied with results announced on May 10.

Last year, the City Nature Challenge tallied over 815,000 observations made by over 41,000 people in 244 cities.

This year, participating cities has jumped to over 350 and includes Lake Charles, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans!

While every City Nature Challenge results in troves of biodiversity data for scientists, educators, urban planners and policymakers, this year’s Challenge is focused on offering a safe and restorative way for people to reconnect with nature and their community.

iNaturalist can be downloaded from your browser, from the App Store or Google Play store. iNaturalist is powered by the California Academy of Sciences and National Geographic.

Three master naturalists groups in Louisiana are competing amongst each other as well as other cities all over the world. Here’s how you can join the effort in your area:

Greater Baton Rouge (www.brnaturechallenge.org)
Host: Louisiana Master Naturalists of Greater Baton Rouge
Parishes in this region:  Ascension, Assumption, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, St. Helena, St. James, Tangipahoa, West Baton Rouge, and West Feliciana

Use #BRnaturechallenge when sharing your photos on social media!

You can join a group or participate on your own. Organized meet-ups in Baton Rouge include:
Friday, April 30: 5:30pm – 7:30pm at Waddill Wildlife Refuge (4142 N. Flannery Rd)
Saturday, May 1: 9:00am – 2:00pm at LSU AgCenter Botanic Garden (4560 Essen Lane)
Monday, May 3: 8:00am – noon at LSU Hilltop Arboretum (11855 Highland Rd)
(See also: Facebook event for Baton Rouge)

Greater New Orleans
Host: Louisiana Master Naturalists of Greater New Orleans
Parishes in this region:  Orleans, St. Tammany, St. Bernard, Plaquemines, and Jefferson

Southwest Louisiana 
Host: Southwest Louisiana Master Naturalists
Parishes in this region: Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Jefferson Davis, and Vernon

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