City Nature Challenge: San Diego

April 24-27, 2020
We shared San Diego's natural beauty with the world

This year, the City Nature Challenge was a worldwide collaboration to collectively celebrate the healing power of nature by documenting all the species we can find! People across the globe slowed down, tuned-into their surroundings, and took the time to connect with nature.It was an unquestionable win for all those who took part.

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.

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. Over 8,500 people across the globe served as identifiers.

Thanks to our very own Curator of Botany, Dr. Jon Rebman (@jrebman), San Diego has some major bragging rights as home to the top City Nature Challenge species identifier in the world! He made just under 12,000 identifciations over the course of the Challenge.

Thanks to all who made observations, identifications, and shared-out.

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

Want to partner with us for the 2021 City Nature Challenge? Contact education.


The City Nature Challenge is a wonderful opportunity to get your students outside and incorporate Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and STEM into your classroom. Create student iNaturalist projects using the following resources: