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Join the worldwide 2024 City Nature Challenge this weekend!

This is your global invitation to go exploring at home

The LA County Natural History Museum wants the entire world to go outside and have a good look around this weekend. They’d like us all to take a close gander at the biosphere in our neighborhoods. And they want us record what we find from now through Monday, April 29, 2024.

The annual event isn’t just a great opportunity to experience wildlife at home. It’s also a chance to provide critical scientific data about our ever-changing biosphere. From the City Nature Challenge website:

The City Nature Challenge is an international effort to document nature in cities, taking place from April 26 to April 29, 2024. The global event calls on current and aspiring community scientists, nature and science fans, and people of all ages and backgrounds to get outside and observe and submit pictures of wild plants, animals, and fungi during the Challenge dates in order to help scientists track real-time changes in our planet’s biodiversity and better understand wildlife conservation.

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Wildlife only, please!

We’re sure your lawn and landscaping are no doubt lovely, but this event is about observing and recording the wild things that call the world immediately around you their home.

Here’s what the folks at the museum would like to know:

  • What can you find in your house?
  • What can you see through your windows?
  • What are the wild plants growing in your backyard? (weeds count!)
  • What insects or other creatures are using the cultivated plants in your backyard as a habitat or a food source?
  • What observations can you make along the sidewalk in front of your house or apartment complex? (Always be mindful of traffic and safety.)
Bearded man with smart phone taking image of plant with small white flowers.
The LA County Natural History Museum’s 2024 City Nature Challenge runs now through Monday, April 29, 2024. The goal is to collect images of wildlife in local neighborhoods around the world. To join in, visit the 2024 City Nature Challenge page. Image via fauxels/ Pexels.

While you don’t even have to go outside to participate, the museum suggests going for a walk, getting into the weeds and making a visit to the local park. And remember to look up in the trees, underneath everything, and get low to see what’s creeping and crawling down there.

Pics or it didn’t happen!

Recording your adventures in pictures and sharing them is the most important part of the challenge. Thankfully, makes that really simple.

Here’s how to join in from the challenge website:

Step 1: Find wildlife anywhere in LA County (or your local area).

Step 2: Take photos of WILD** plants and animals.

Step 3: Share your observations in the iNaturalist app. If it’s planted or taken care of by people it is not WILD. Mark it captive/cultivated!

Step 4: Learn more as your finds get identified.

**Wild means not captive or cultivated. Try not to take pictures of captive animals in zoos or aquaria and cultivated plants in your garden or at a nursery.

Download the iNaturalist app from the Apple Store or Google Play. If you’d like more hints on how to find wildlife and some detailed instructions on using the iNat app, check out this advice from the California Academy of Sciences.

By the way, we’d love to see and share your images of nature too. Check out EarthSky Community Photos to find out more.

Bottom line: This weekend, April 26-29, 2024, join the global City Nature Challenge and record the biosphere in your neighborhood to help track real-time change.

Via Los Angeles County Natural History Museum City Nature Challenge

April 27, 2024

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