Let's enter New Zealand cities in the 2019 City Nature Challenge

Important: the deadline for city registration for the 2019 City Nature Challenge is 21 September 2018

Some of you might be aware of the annual City Nature Challenge on iNaturalist. The event began as an LA versus San Francisco event, sponsored by the California Academy of Science and the LA Natural History Museum. Last year it went properly global and 2019 promises to be an even more fully global event.

Here's the 2018 City Nature Challenge:

Cities compete to see which one can log the most nature observations on iNaturalist over one long weekend. It's a great excuse to get everyone outside looking at nature. To help boost public engagement and observations, it's a good idea (optional) to run public events and other promotions during the event.

iNaturalist NZ is keen to get New Zealand cities entered into the 2019 event. We can see which is the top city in NZ, and hopefully give iNaturalist.org's home town of San Francisco a run for their money. San Francisco won the 2019 event with 42,804 observations.

For New Zealand cities to be an official part of the 2019 City Nature Challenge, we have to register each participating city by 21 September 2018. There's no cost and no big commitment in time. The organisers just want to know that there is a person, or institution, within a city that can help to push the event. In return, that city gets added to the official competition.

It would be great if we can get the bigger cities in NZ participating in this, and even better if we can inspire our big iNat NZ community to beat all of those pesky American cities.

For more details, see this post on iNaturalist.org and especially note the comment by @carrieseltzer including links to background information for event organisers and to the Google Docs spreadsheet where you can sign up your city.

Feel free to use the comments below, or message each other, to talk about the potential for running an event in your city.

To start the conversation, I include below the most active iNaturalist NZ observers/identifiers from each NZ city:

Whangarei @clinton @shaun-lee @predomalpha @tangatawhenua

Auckland @jacqui-nz @stephen_thorpe @kaipatiki_naturewatch @pjd1 @jack4 @bcal003 @aunty @fairyeagle @nicholasmaynenz @dwilson @mikey_crikey @marleyii

Hamilton @marystg @davidwhyte @onethousandthousandwheelingeyes @nathaniel2002 @angelasimpson @neil_fitzgerald

Tauranga @bbi2 @cappinkiwi @jacqui-nz @jefffryett

Rotorua @kaitao @chrismoody @angelasimpson @witherst @arpugh @stevepawson

New Plymouth @simonnicholas @emily_r @oakura @warrensmart @kelvinperrie @enzedfred @arnim

Napier-Hastings @mike68lusk @tim_hopley

Gisborne @ kiwifergus @lisa_bennett @mrutherford

Palmerston North @grey @zoology @johnflower

Whanganui @xplore @bug_me

Wellington @tony_wills @leonperrie @savvy @naturewatchwidow @ johnvandenhoeven @lisa_bennett @parkecology @zealandia @andymckay @d_kluza @ caqalai @jeremy_rolfe @siobhanleachman @philg-j

Nelson @johnb-nz @memopob @duncanmc42 @rembrandt @absoluteandy @rogerfrost

Christchurch @jon_sullivan @joepb @meurkc @grahame @reinderw @katemccombs @melissa_hutchison @alice_shanks @steveattwood @cooperj @shona_t @nessmander @gregs @edwilson @laura-nz

Dunedin @john_barkla @steve_kerr @david_lyttle @katiew @johnsteel @possumsend @nikbaines

Invercargill @esler @thurst @bethanyhb @environmentsouthland

iNaturalist NZ and the NZ Bio-recording Network Trust are keen to help to promote your city's involvement in the event. Please let us know how we can support you in your city.

Posted by jon_sullivan jon_sullivan, September 13, 2018 04:55



Sounds great, I will try to get as much done. Also, I live in Auckland not Whangarei, however I do often go to Whangarei and places up north, I know people like @anhsmith who might want to get into this competition:)
Also please alert me before that weekend because I will likely have forgotten.

Posted by predomalpha over 2 years ago (Flag)

I didn't find out about the Neighbourhood Nature Nosey until the day it started, when my observations suddenly started getting added. I scrambled and got a few, but it was too short notice to rally support here in Gisborne for it.

I have been trying to get some momentum since Oct 2017 for a major bioblitz at Titirangi Oct 2019 in celebration of the Sestercentenary of Cook's (and Banks and Solander) first landing at Kaiti Beach in Oct 1769. As part of the collections of Linnaeus' disciples, this was arguably the most significant worldwide bioblitz made in history. At the very least, I have been desperate to be involved with ANY bioblitz in order to skill up and be able to organise something myself.

Very much disillusioned with the lack of interest in the idea, I had decided that if by Oct 2018 nothing was started, I would give up on it. By Christmas, I was so despondent over the wasted opportunity, that I was on the verge of deleting my account and giving up on participating in iNaturalist altogether. It was perhaps the worst Christmas of my life, and my family suffered along with me. Realising the widespread loss that deleting my account would inflict (bioblitz results, discussions partaken in, ID help provided, etc) I instead chose to raise that potential loss factor as an issue in the Google Groups, only to result in being chastised by Colin Meurc for being selfish and divisive of the community (WTF?).

All this on top of being made to feel guilty for killing bugs (thanks Tony Wills) and made to feel unqualified to ID spiders (thanks Bryce McQuillan). Being made curator in order to handle some taxonomic issues among oaks which were slow to be handled by Tony Iwane is perhaps the only positive iNat experience I have had of late (so a genuine thankyou to Stephen Thorpe).

How disappointing to find today, by accident, this blog post with a tag to me that has a space in it, so I never got to see it. It kind of sums up my iNat experiences of the last 3 months...

Posted by kiwifergus about 2 years ago (Flag)

Im sorry @kiwifergus

Posted by predomalpha about 2 years ago (Flag)

@predomalpha no, I'm the one that should be sorry... I overlook all the wonderful connections and moments and get so pre-occupied by all this big nonsense stuff. Big breath, exhale, think small... I'll get through it:)

Posted by kiwifergus about 2 years ago (Flag)

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