The City Nature Challenge 2023!

Hello again everyone! My name is Aaron Lincoln. I'm a Texas Master Naturalist from the Heart of Texas Chapter in Waco. Thank you to everyone who helped participate in our event last year! It was very successful! Here's a link in case you want to check out how we did:
https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/city-nature-challenge-2022-heart-of-texas

For anyone who isn't aware, the City Nature Challenge, is a wonderful time during April when cities across the world have a friendly competition to see who can make the most observations and find the most species. Apart from being a lot of fun, the challenge makes a real contribution to science and helps guide policy sometimes in bigger cities once decision makers see what kind of organisms are present in the area. You can find more info here:
http://citynaturechallenge.org/

Everything is done on iNaturalist, so you don't have to do anything different, just get out there and make observations. There's usually 4 days for observations followed by a week to upload and make identifications. I really think that our area with Hamilton, Hillsboro, Waco, Temple, Killeen, Belton, and outlying areas has something special to offer, especially as the area continues to grow and development replaces natural areas.

Last year's results were impressive, but I think we can do even better this year. Getting the word out to as many as possible and increasing our participants is key. Please feel free to tag anyone you can think of in this post and promote whenever possible.

It's still early in the planning phases, so I will continue to make updates as they come. Observation dates will be April 28th through May 1st with identifications being made the following week. Our area includes the following counties: Somervell, Bosque, Hamilton, Hill, Coryell, McLennan, Bell, Milam, and Falls. Here is the link to the project page for this year:
https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/city-nature-challenge-2023-heart-of-texas

Posted on January 16, 2023 10:01 PM by bosqueaaron bosqueaaron

Comments

Posted by connlindajo over 1 year ago

@connlindajo only 99 more days! :)

Posted by bosqueaaron over 1 year ago

Going to start tagging folks who participated last year.

Posted by bosqueaaron over 1 year ago

Sorry if anyone was tagged twice or if you're not from this area. You may have participated last year without knowing!
Please feel free to tag anyone you think might be interested.

Posted by bosqueaaron over 1 year ago

@melissalmullins this is the official invitation with links to the projects.
Melissa's Biology students at Baylor will be participating with us this year!

Posted by bosqueaaron over 1 year ago

@k8thegr8 it's time to defect and join our team!
maybe @pfau_tarleton will help us that weekend as well :)

Posted by bosqueaaron over 1 year ago

Ooooooh I don't know if Sam would like that... =D

Posted by k8thegr8 over 1 year ago

I have already signed up!

Posted by chenderson over 1 year ago
Posted by bosqueaaron over 1 year ago

Hey everyone! We have our first scheduled event during the CNC. The Waco Lake USACE team has invited anyone and everyone to a bioblitz on Saturday, April 29th from 9:00am to noon at 2 lesser-known WMAs on the lake. I can email instructions and directions to anyone interested.
@jeff_back this might be a good day to do blacklighting at the wetlands or elsewhere later on if you're interested.

Posted by bosqueaaron over 1 year ago

@bosqueaaron
I will attend if I'm free that Saturday (I have nothing scheduled as of today)
Please send the details.
We can run lights that night as well.

Posted by jeff_back over 1 year ago

Can't wait!

Posted by star3 about 1 year ago

Hi everybody! It's getting close to that time! I'd like for everyone who is able to post some of their plans so that we can better cover the area.

Friday I'll be spending most of the day in south Bosque Co. Walk at the Waco Wetlands is that night with hopefully bug lights going once it gets dark.
Saturday, I'll be at the Lake Waco Bioblitz I alluded to in past messages. From there, going to prairies in Falls Co. and down to the Falls on the Brazos Park.
Sunday I'll be making a loop at various parks and cemeteries around Lake Whitney.
Monday heading from Clifton to Meridian State Park and from there to Walnut Springs and Glen Rose.

Posted by bosqueaaron about 1 year ago

I plan to be out and about in Milam County taking photos of everything.

Posted by connlindajo about 1 year ago

@hansoes Can't remember if I tagged you or not

Posted by bosqueaaron about 1 year ago

Cameron Park in Waco is really exploding with biodiversity right now. One could literally spend the whole weekend just there!

Posted by bosqueaaron about 1 year ago
Posted by bosqueaaron about 1 year ago

Happy City Nature Challenge Everyone! Good luck and stay safe out there :)

Posted by bosqueaaron about 1 year ago

ah Sorry Im in the Houston area so I cant participate

Posted by muckle about 1 year ago

It may not be necessary to tag lots of folks en masse - many of these users are just high volume IDers and most regulars on iNat know that the CNC is happening.

Posted by cthawley about 1 year ago

I live in New York not Texas haha

Posted by mabuva2021 about 1 year ago

New Jersey here, not sure why i was tagged

Posted by willphill3 about 1 year ago

I live in Québec, so I can't participate as an observer.

Posted by plantman4 about 1 year ago

Not within range. I am from Ohio.

Posted by huttonia about 1 year ago

Sadly i can’t participate! Im in California haha

Posted by aniedes about 1 year ago

Unfortunately, I won't be in Texas, I'll be in Washington for a couple days, then back to Oregon

Posted by carabid_47 about 1 year ago

Sorry, I live in Philly, not Texas.

Posted by brennafarrell about 1 year ago

i'm in north carolina but looking forwards to what y'all will see during the cnc! hopefully lots of vultures for me to id, tx is good for that :)

Posted by snake_smeuse about 1 year ago

If you were tagged, you helped with observations and/or ids last year. Thank you:)

Posted by lovebirder about 1 year ago

Ohhhhhh, if there were carabids, I either posted specimens, or IDed a bunch of other user's carabids, or both. Thanks for the clarification

Posted by carabid_47 about 1 year ago

Here is a link to identify our observations: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/identify?project_id=151172

Posted by lovebirder about 1 year ago

Hey everyone! I hope you all had as much fun as I did making observations out there. Don't forget that we've got until 9am on Monday to get everything uploaded and ID'd. Anyone can help with the ID process. Just click the link @lovebirder posted above and go through until you see something you recognize. It also helps to put basic IDs on things that say "unknown". You may not know what it is, but you might be able to say that it is a plant or bird or whatever.

Also, we're on the lookout for rare, or exceptional, or funny observations you might have posted or helped ID. These might get featured in some of the reports that get made once everything is finalized. Please post a link to the observation here:
https://www.inaturalist.org/journal/bosqueaaron/79473-cnc-2023-exceptional-observations

Posted by bosqueaaron about 1 year ago

Well folks, that's a wrap! Thank you to everyone who participated in any way. We had about 1,700 more observations, 6 more species, and 55 more observers than last year! We came in 6th place in Texas.

Scoreboard here if you'd like to see:
https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/texas-city-nature-challenge-2023-cities
We saw some amazing stuff and hopefully learned a lot. I know I did for sure. In the coming weeks/months I'll have more detailed statistics to share with everyone.

We still have 30% of our observations that need ID or agreement for research grade, so don't give up on them :)
Thanks again everyone !

Posted by bosqueaaron about 1 year ago

And here's the global scoreboard
https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/city-nature-challenge-2023
I have NO idea how they did that in La Paz, Bolivia!

Posted by bosqueaaron about 1 year ago

Here's the Texas scoreboard: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/texas-city-nature-challenge-2023-cities
I think we did great! 6th in the state again with 1,678 more observations than last year.
I must say that i am currently afflicted by CNCF. City Nature Challenge Fatigue;) But, it is worth it! We found lots of great stuff.

Posted by lovebirder about 1 year ago

@bosqueaaron thank you for all the work you have put into this project. I always enjoy doing it, and I can only imagine the hours it takes you, especially on the identifying. I think Heart of Texas made a good showing this year.

Posted by chenderson about 1 year ago

@chenderson You're welcome! I enjoy it! We definitely did. Here's hoping to get even more participants next year and I plan to try to include Limestone county by popular request.

Posted by bosqueaaron about 1 year ago

@bosqueaaron To make the Texas scoreboard an actual measurement, we need to normalize the number of species by the number of participants.

I collected those data and will get back to you.

Posted by jeff_back about 1 year ago

In that case, I predict 1st place goes to us ;)

Posted by bosqueaaron about 1 year ago

Hi everyone! They finally put out the official summary of our CNC project! Thanks to everyone involved!
https://acrobat.adobe.com/link/review?uri=urn%3Aaaid%3Ascds%3AUS%3A7cc3cb1f-0460-4eed-aca7-307d696e23e2
Looking forward to next year!

Posted by bosqueaaron 11 months ago

Thanks! I am also looking forward to 2024!

Posted by connlindajo 11 months ago

Fantastic!

Posted by lovebirder 11 months ago

I loved looking for those of greatest need!

Posted by chenderson 11 months ago

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