City Nature Challenge 2022: The Maritimes/Atlantic Umbrella Project's Journal

Journal archives for April 2022

April 04, 2022

Welcome to another City Nature Challenge - Help highlight the Atlantic Provinces in 2022!

The dates for the 2022 City Nature Challenge have been set for months. All observations must be recorded during the 4 day event April 29 to May 2. Participants have up until May 8th to finalize uploading of photos and sound recordings. Identifiers of course may add comments and attributes and suggest names at any time during the challenge! Final results will be announced May 9th.

This year there are 44 entries from across the country from St. John's in the east to Vancouver in the west and north to Yellowknife and Whitehorse.

Our local efforts the last few years to get out and participate were of course affected by COVID. Hopefully during 2022 the weather will cooperate. Now is a great time to set personal goals and to make plans to get out and help highlight the Atlantic Provinces this year.

Late April may not be the best time of year to highlight biodiversity in our area but after a long winter it is a great opportunity to get out and explore favourite places and/or venture to new areas. Choose a few parks, trails, beaches, or wilderness areas to visit or decide to stay close to home and explore your backyard or neighbourhood. The objective is to observe wildlife - it is all around us.

Join this umbrella project for the Atlantic region and be automatically notified if/when new journal posts are added.

Posted on April 04, 2022 09:57 AM by mkkennedy mkkennedy | 10 comments | Leave a comment

Do you want to participate but your area is not registered in the CNC event?

The CNC 'event' is a collection of iNat project that have set criteria. Observations must be recorded between set dates and locations must fall within defined area(s). Anyone may participate and it is not necessary to join any specific project - the reason to join is to be automatically notified if/when journal articles are published.

If iNatters who live out of bounds wish to participate then they are encouraged to travel to a registered area - This is a great excuse to explore areas. It is not necessary to travel to a central place in the area - anywhere inside the 'polygon' will count!

Many people may not be able to travel for all kinds of reasons but they can still participate and/or contribute to the event.

Help review content.
Help assign attributes.
Help suggest names.
Help promote the event and encourage others to participate.
Help compose journal articles.
Challenge others.
Mentor participants - Point out a few obvious species that they may have overlooked.

And finally - do you still wish to participate in the City Nature Challenge but your city isn't taking part? There is an option to join a global project to have your observations be part of CNC 2022. A special CNC project has been set up but for these observations to 'count' iNatters must JOIN the 'global' project -

Posted on April 04, 2022 10:56 AM by mkkennedy mkkennedy | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 15, 2022

Add marine taxa to your CNC species list

As part of preparation for the upcoming CNC are you compiling a list of areas to explore and species to search for? If yes, consider adding coastal areas and marine taxa to your list!

Choose your adventure – share observations from out on the water (boaters), in the water (divers), or next to the water’s edge (landlubbers).

Plan to explore a beach or a coastal area. Explore rocky shores as well as sandy beaches.

Explore wharves, waterfronts, and marinas.

Explore more than one location!

Remember that position on the CNC leaderboard is based on the following stats – the number of observations, the number of species, and the number of participants. To increase personal counts re observations don’t forget that iNaturalist defines an observation as an encounter with an individual organism at a particular time and location. This means that the same species may be posted multiple times - different locations and/or different dates and create separate observations for different sex/lifestage.

Once the CNC starts follow the various leaderboards global, Canadian, Atlantic Provinces and your own CNC area (you can access local CNCs from the Atlantic Provinces umbrella project). Resort the leaderboard display based on observations, species, or observers. Become competitive and jostle others for position on the leaderboard - the CNC lasts for 4 days - there is always time to find one more observation!

Posted on April 15, 2022 07:54 PM by mkkennedy mkkennedy | 0 comments | Leave a comment

During the CNC plan to visit to a local beach

When visiting a beach poke around in the wrack. Besides kelp flies what else can you find?

It will take patience to take a photo of a beach spider - they do move quickly!

Plan to get your feet wet and explore the intertidal zone. The best time to explore this area is between one hour before and one hour after low tide so before heading out check the tide tables online – remember to select local area – here is the link for Halifax: Don’t forget that high tide occurs ~50 minutes later each day!

Always respect the ocean & stay safe. Remember that rocks are often slippery. Be aware that there may be critters living under the seaweed in tide pools.

The CNC stats count the #participants, the # observations, and the #species. If one person simply records 5 observations of barnacles from 5 different locations or on 4 different days during the CNC this would be a great contribution!

Set yourself a personal goal to record a certain number of observations and to search for a number of species. Challenge others to set their own goals and to participate. Remind them that every observation counts.

Need ideas?

Can you find 5 different types of seaweed? Example:

Can you find 3-4 different species of snails? (Periwinkle, Dogwhelk, Rough periwinkle, Flat periwinkle). Note if the snail is alive and living in a tide pool or on a rock or if only shells found on the beach.

Any barnacles, or mussels, or crabs?

What else can you find?

Explore iNaturalist and browse observations that others have shared from areas of interest to you.

Posted on April 15, 2022 08:54 PM by mkkennedy mkkennedy | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 28, 2022

CNC Data Quests

Data quests are an opportunity to link your species observations to specific science and conservation needs. By collecting data on data quest species, you'll be helping researchers and managers better understand where key species exist from our city centers out to our rural regions. Each quest has been chosen to answer relevant questions or as a key indicator of an important habitat. What’s more, by joining a data quest, you'll increase your knowledge and observational skills about nature across our region.
(The description above was 'borrowed' from the CNC Boston group, with their permission of course!)

What you can do: Choose a quest below, find out what is needed and help collect data!

The Nova Scotia Invasive Species Council has designed two data quests for this year's CNC:
Data Quest 1: Invasive Plants
Data Quest 2: Bird photographers.
To learn more click here.

The Ecology Action Eelgrass Monitoring Team have also set up two quests:
Data Quest 1: Low tide walks
Data Quest 2: Paddler Observations.
To learn more click here.

Check out the quests on the Boston page - the What's in the Wrack quest looks interesting!

If your group has ideas for additional quests pleas add them below as comments.

Posted on April 28, 2022 07:18 PM by mkkennedy mkkennedy | 0 comments | Leave a comment

The 2022 City Nature Challenge has started!

The global City Nature Challenge has started in other parts of the world where it is now Friday. Keep an eye on this leaderboard over the next few days. You can sort on observations, species, and observers. Looking forward to seeing the Atlantic Province entries on this leaderboard tomorrow!

Posted on April 28, 2022 07:39 PM by mkkennedy mkkennedy | 0 comments | Leave a comment