In 2019, Cape Town walked away as the victor of the global City Nature Challenge. This year, it will be participating once again, and will need your help to defend the title.
The 2020 competition will take place from April 24-26. To participate, residents will need to download the iNaturalist app, visit the many Cape Town reserves or natural areas and record as many plant and animal species that they find. During the competition in 2019, Cape Town recorded the most observations and most species, and set new records in both categories.
“Cape Town is one of the most biodiverse cities in the world, and our residents made great effort to showcase this during the City Nature Challenge last year. So much so that, as a city, we recorded the most observations and most species worldwide. I call on all residents to use this as an opportunity to explore the natural beauty Cape Town has to offer whether it be at one of the conservation areas or any open space in their neighbourhood. We often travel long distances to enjoy natural beauty we have right here in the mother city,” said the City’s Mayco Member for Spatial Planning and Environment, Marian Nieuwoudt.
Volunteers from over 250 cities worldwide will be recording their respective animals and plants. Some of the cities Cape Town will be competing against include Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, Los Angeles and Madrid. Local cities such as City of Tshwane and the Garden Route district will also be participating.
“In order to participate in the challenge, participants need to download the iNaturalist.com app, register and share their observations by uploading all their findings on the app. Observations can be recorded anywhere within the City of Cape Town borders, including the surrounding oceans. The only entries that do not count are selfies, people and pets,” Nieuwoudt said. “I think many residents will be pleasantly surprised with the natural spaces located in their immediate and surrounding neighbourhoods. I encourage everyone to be a part of discovering and showcasing all the plant and animal life this city possesses.”
Participants may record any plant, animal, fungi, slime, mould or any other evidence of life (scat, fur, tracks, shells, carcasses) found in Cape Town and should not forget to record the location of their findings.
“Schools, universities and social groups are encouraged to use this as an opportunity to facilitate, manage and support student outdoor learning and exploration in schoolyards, nearby parks, or other green spaces,” Nieuwoudt added.
For more information, contact Eleanor Hutchings at [email protected] or Tony Rebelo at [email protected]or visit https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/city-nature-challenge-2020-cape-town