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San Diego's Results: City Nature Challenge 2020

This April, to help mark the first ever Citizen Science Month, we shared a number of citizen science projects with you. The results of one of the biggest of these projects, the global City Nature Challenge, were recently announced. So how did we do? Or perhaps, more importantly, how did nature do?  

In only four days, over 41,000 individuals made over 815,000 observations of more than 32,500 species—including more than 1,300 rare/endangered/threatened species It was an unquestionable win for all those who took part. People across the globe slowed down, tuned-into their surroundings, and took the time to connect with nature.   

In San Diego, 920 observers, spotted 2,409 species in 17,213 observations, placing us at the top of the list across the globe in regions with similar arid climates. One urban San Diego observer documented over 400 different plants and animals by staying close to home and only traveling where possible on foot. Over 8,500 people across the globe served as identifiers. 

Thanks to our very own, Dr. Jon Rebman (@jrebman), Curator of Botany at The Nat, San Diego has some major bragging rights as home to the top City Nature Challenge species identifier in the world! That’s #1 of over 8,500 people! Jon, you are amazing and we thank you, but the State of California is making us request you take at least a 15-minute break.  

Thanks to all of you who made observations, identification, and shared-out. We hope joining us was as restorative for all of you as it has been for us.  

From caterpillars to coyotes, it's been fun seeing what you all have found. We are sharing a few highlights below.  

Globally, the City Nature Challenge team shared highlights from around the U.S. and the world. These included a relatable fox squirrel trying to beat the heat in Los Angeles, a spotted harlequin snake midway through a meal in South Africa, an amethyst hairstreak butterfly nearly extirpated in Florida, a critically endangered harlequin frog in Panama, three sea-faring snails racing across a puddle in Calabasas, Honduras’s first observation of a rare orchid, a parasitic fungus erupting from a wasp in Tennessee, a stunning pitviper from the Philippines, and the first record in over 40 years of a white-spotted slimy salamander in Arlington County near Washington DC.  

Until next year, San Diego! Before that though, stay engaged with citizen science – which never stops. 

Desert Bighorn Sheep by iNaturalist User and The Nat Volunteer Donendicott in Anza-Borrego.

California Sea Lions at La Jolla Cove by Roger Uzun.

Vaseys Prickly Pear by iNaturalist user Jimirob1 in Linda Vista

Red-tailed Hawk by iNaturalist user Kristinrh in Chula Vista.

Lingulodinium polyedra by iNaturalist user Photocyte, Tim Fallon, at La Jolla Shores.

Posted by The Nat on May 5, 2020

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