Cape Town has won the most recorded observations and recorded species categories in the 2019 City Nature Challenge. Together, Cape Town’s participants were able to record an impressive 53 775 observations and 4 587 species across the city as part of the worldwide competition.
Runners up in the recorded observations category were La Paz (Bolivia) with 46 931 observations and San Diego (USA) with 38 241. In the recorded species category, runners up were Hong Kong with 3 596 species and Houston (USA) with 3 367.
“Capetonians really went out and showed the world what incredible biodiversity our city has to offer. Cape Town certainly rose to the challenge, considering that we are entering autumn and there were over 150 cities competing, many of which are in the throes of spring. I want to thank each and every resident and visitor who took the time to explore our pristine natural environment and for capturing the beauty and life they encountered. We’re extremely proud to be hosting a globally-recognised and important biodiversity,” said Mayco Member for Spatial Planning and Environment Marian Nieuwoudt.
Executive Mayor Dan Plato congratulated and thanked Mother City residents who participated in the challenge. “Thank you Cape Town, and very well done for putting our city on one of the top spots on the international biodiversity map. I think this challenge has reminded many of our residents how privileged we are to call this beautiful region of the world our home. The City is proud of its more than 20 nature reserves across the metro. I urge residents to explore these nature conservation areas, embrace the natural beauty we have on our doorsteps but often overlook, and to be custodians of our unique environment,” he said.
The competition took place between April 26 and April 29 2019. Capetonians were encouraged to explore the City’s nature reserves and natural open spaces and record all of the local plant and animal species that they spotted over the four days. Participants were required to download the iNaturalist.com app to share their observations by uploading all of their findings onto the app.
The City coordinated numerous activities for participants during the course of the challenge, among which were tours of nature reserves with local experts over the four days.
The top 20 species recorded in Cape Town were:
– Osteospermum moniliferum, or Bietou
– Carpobrotus edulis, or Edible Sourfig
– Leonotis leonurus, or Wild Dagga
– Protea repens, or Common Sugarbush
– Tecomaria capensis, or Cape Honeysuckle
– Apis mellifera, or Western Honey Bee
– Protea cynaroides, or King Protea
– Leucadendron salignum, or Common Sunshine Conebush
– Pelargonium capitatum, or Rose-scented Geranium
– Cotyledon orbiculata, or Pig Ears
– Eriocephalus africanus, or Wild Rosemary
– Alopochen aegyptiaca, or Egyptian Goose
– Numida meleagris, or Helmeted Guineafowl
– Portulacaria afra, or Spekboom
– Erica plukenetii, or Hangertjie
– Aloe arborescens, or Krantz Aloe
– Strelitzia reginae, or Bird of Paradise plant
– Pelargonium cucullatum, or Hooded Storksbill
– Acraea horta, or Garden Acraea
– Leucadendron laureolum, or Golden Sunshine Bush