FODM: City Nature Challenge (CNC): Apr 2020

Updated: Jan 4

The City Nature Challenge still took place this year despite the COVID-19 pandemic. April 2020 was the 5th anniversary of the CNC and the 50th anniversary of Earth Day! FODM joined organizations around the globe to celebrate nature in and around urban areas by documenting all the species we could find! Due to COVID-19, CNC was not a competition but a global community science project documenting biodiversity all over the world, with a focus on the things found right in our backyards. FODM was hoping to propel the Inland Empire Team into the Top 10 regions in the world in terms of total observations.

City Nature Challenge 2020 statistics

The rules were simple for our team. From April 24-27, take a picture of local flora or fauna within the Riverside and San Bernardino Counties; add the observation using the iNaturalist app; and identify the species between Apr 28-May 3. The global results would be posted on May 4th.


Visit the Mac App Store to download the app for free. There are plenty of online resources to help you learn how to use the app. I love using it whenever I'm outside walking or hiking and see flora/fauna that I can't identify on my own: 1. take a picture; 2. upload the observations; 3. click 'What did I see'; 4. iNaturalist displays species that closely match the picture/observation. It couldn't be easier.


iNaturalist app

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City Nature Challenge Results from the Inlands Empire Coordinator

We want to say thanks for participating in the Inland Empire’s first ever City Nature Challenge! Despite a global pandemic, we had GREAT participation with 486 people submitting 10,900 observations in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties combined! So far, 5,541 observations have made it to Research Grade, which is amazing for researchers using iNaturalist data in our region. We landed in 19th place, in terms of number of observations, out of 244 cities! Not bad for our first time.


Overall, thousands more people participated in the global CNC compared to last year, and even with 150,000 fewer observations compared to last year, we still ended up documenting more species than ever!


Here are the global results:

Observations: 815,258

Species: 32,500+, including more than 1,300 rare/endangered/threatened species

Observers: 41,165

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I'm proud of my participation in CNC. Despite temperatures in the mid-nineties, I went on two solo hikes to collect observations. I didn't drag Dave along since the hikes were very slow and methodical, but so much fun. I finished in the top 25 for the Inland Empire team and want to do much better the next time I participate.


Here are the links to the CNC hikes:

FYI: On the Kim Nichols trail I found two Sidewinder Rattlesnake carcasses. It really reinforced the need to hike smart and be aware of my surroundings at all times.

CNC 2020 individual observer statistics for Inland Empire Team

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