The City Nature Challenge (CNC) is a 4-day bioblitz where cities around the world compete to see who can record the most wildlife. Winners are ranked by the total number of observations, the number of species as well as the number of people making observations. Besides being a fun challenge, this is also a great way to engage people in citizen science and help document the biodiversity of our urban areas.

The CNC started in 2016 as a friendly competition between the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and California Academy of Sciences to encourage citizen scientists to explore urban biodiversity. After a successful first year, they expanded to a nationwide contest in 2017 and then to a worldwide one in 2018.

The 20DSCN474120 City Nature Challenge is scheduled to take place between April 24th and 27th (Friday-Monday). This is Philadelphia’s second time competing in the City Nature Challenge. We exceeded our expectations in 2019, but we want to do better in 2020 so we need all the help we can get. Go out and take a picture of any wild organism in Philadelphia or the 6 adjacent counties and upload it to iNaturalist. You can find more information on the How to Participate page.

Also, make sure to follow the iNaturalist project. This is where you can see observations made in the area during the challenge. We’ll also be posting regular updates there so make sure you follow that page.

Over 130 cities all over the world are participating this year. In 2019, 158 cities took part; check out the Leaderboard to see what Philadelphia is up against this time.


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