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Cities worldwide use photo app technology to compete in nature observation challenge

25 / 04 / 2018, Mongabaycom News

This coming weekend, nature lovers from cities around the globe will have a chance to test their species identification skills in a global competition. The third-annual City Nature Challenge takes place April 27-30, 2018. Participants from over 65 cities on five continents will compete to see who can make the most observations of local plants and animals, find the most species, and engage the most people in the outdoor photo exploration. The Challenge uses the iNaturalist app, which is managed by the California Academy of Sciences and National Geographic.  It started two years ago as a nature-finding competition between the cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles. Despite its growth and international scope, organizers Alison Young and Rebecca Johnson of the California Academy of Sciences told Mongabay-Wildtech that their aim for the 2018 Challenge remains to connect people to their local nature and to each other and have fun while they’re at it. Having fun collecting and sharing data on the nature around us – identifying that plant, bird, or bug you see every day can make it more meaningful. Photo © 2018 California Academy of Sciences. A second aim is to collect urban biodiversity data, during the annual Challenge and throughout the year, that can be valuable for science or management. As one example, Young and Johnson wrote in an email, the many Challenge participants may document the presence of an invasive species that can trigger a rapid response from resource managers to keep the species from spreading. “Many of our…

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