City Nature Challenge makes its way to Australian shores in 2020!

I'm sure you noticed that one of the photos below doesn't show a fish! In this journal post Thomas Mesaglio AKA @thebeachcomber tells us about an upcoming iNaturalist challenge that you can join. Please continue to upload your fish observations but the City Nature Challenge will give you the chance to go crazy uploading observations of other life forms.
With one of the world’s worst extinction rates and over 1000 endangered species, it is more important than ever to understand exactly how many species call Australia home and where they’re distributed. One of the frontiers of discovering and recording biodiversity over the next 50 years will be cities: the area they cover is expanding, creating interactions with more and more species, and they’re easily accessible to both professional and citizen scientists alike, making them the perfect launch pad for biodiversity surveys.
iNaturalist is very much at the forefront of recording city biodiversity, especially thanks to the annual City Nature Challenge. For the past four years, a four-day Bioblitz has been run in cities around the world to encourage people to connect with nature, become more interested in science, and uncover the amazing diversity of species that can be found in and around our cities. Last year over 150 cities participated, with almost one million observations being logged in just four days. Only one thing was missing: any Australian cities!
That’s all changing this year, with three Australian cities taking part:
Sydney, NSW - organised by @thebeachcomber and @alextr
Geelong, VIC - organised by @rodl
The challenge will run from April 24th to April 27th next year. It’s still a fair way off, and I’ll post more updates as the challenge gets closer, but this is an early heads up to clear your calendars for next year and take part!
The Sydney project is yet to go up, but will take place within the ‘Greater Sydney Area’, which is the area covered by the current Biodiversity of Sydney project.
There are currently over 70,000 observations for the Greater Sydney Area on iNaturalist covering almost 5000 identified species. 20% of these are fishes, sharks and rays, so you guys will play a massive part in Sydney’s success in the challenge. I expect all members of the Australasian Fishes project to dive for 20 hours a day during the challenge (with a spare 4 hours for uploading pics of course) so Sydney can come first :D
Please feel free to message me (@thebeachcomber) or email me at if you have any ideas about cool events we can run or ways to make the challenge run as smoothly and successfully as possible.
Posted on November 07, 2019 01:16 AM by markmcg markmcg


Great! Love a good BioBlitz.

Posted by possumpete over 4 years ago

Great news! Hoping more cities in New Zealand will participate next year as well! @wmblom

Posted by jacqui-nz over 4 years ago

Awesome to have Australia join! Looking forward to seeing the finds.

Posted by sea-kangaroo over 4 years ago

I'm getting in early to call Geelong most species win - by a landslide!

I am willing to concede the Sydney project may get more observations, and definitely more fish species than us.. :)

Posted by possumpete over 4 years ago

Maybe we'll need Antony Green to adjudicate. :)

Posted by markmcg over 4 years ago

fyi the project is now live here: 2020 City Nature Challenge for Sydney

Posted by thebeachcomber over 4 years ago

Thank you @thebeachcomber. I'm looking forward to it. 🙂

Posted by markmcg over 4 years ago

Sounds very interesting! :) @thebeachcomber

Posted by henrick about 4 years ago

@henrick Sydney to win by a landslide with the help of all the fishes community!!

Posted by thebeachcomber about 4 years ago

@thebeachcomber Any fin is possible 🐟Hoping for good vis this autumn, probably will be!

Posted by henrick about 4 years ago

There’s also City of Greater Adelaide organised by @stephen169 and a whole of Australia project too so everyone can join in!

Posted by dragonette almost 4 years ago

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