Australia participated in the iNaturalist City Nature Challenge for the first time in 2020, and iNaturalist Australia has reached 1 million observations.

City Nature Challenge 2020 – Australia

iNaturalist has been hosting the City Nature Challenge around the world for 5 years. This year is special for us because it was the first time that Australians participated. Challenges ran from April 24-27 in four cities – Greater Adelaide, Geelong, Sydney and Redlands in Queensland, joining cities in this global initiative to celebrate nature in and around urban areas.

The challenge was to document as many species as possible in one weekend. This year was quite different for everybody due to COVID-19 restrictions, and organisers urged participants to carefully follow public health guidelines issued by their local authorities.

Together Australia’s teams contributed a total of 24,39 observations for 4,596 different species.

Stats from City Nature Challenge 202 – Australia.

With many participants observing nature in their backyard, the City Nature Challenge proved to be an excellent way to safely connect with nature and each other while complying with social distancing measures.

‘’Considering the restrictions, the organisers were surprised by the level of engagement including the number of new users. The organisers are enthusiastic about engaging the community to gather and share biodiversity as this has great potential as a tool for biodiversity management in addition to research. While it’s a great way for citizen scientists to improve their knowledge of local biodiversity, ’ said Stephen Fricker, coordinator of the Greater Adelaide City Nature Challenge.

To see more results from the event:

Major milestone: iNaturalist Australia hits 1 million observations

Six months after the launch of iNaturalist Australia, we hit 1 million observations in mid-April. Thank you to all our keen Australian citizen scientists for uploading observations and the expert identifiers for verifying sightings.

iNaturalist Australia is proving to be a popular platform for insect and plant observations. From the recent City Nature Challenge results we can see that 28% of observations were insects and 42% plants.

The global iNaturalist network is one of the most successful citizen science platforms in the world, with instances in 10 different countries. The iNaturalist Australia community is very active with over 18,000 observers and over 8,000 identifiers

New look for iNaturalist Australia

The global iNaturalist brand has recently had a refresh and iNaturalist Australia has joined in too. The iNaturalist Australia logo now looks like this – so keep an eye out for bright green bird!

iNaturalist and the ALA

Collaborating with iNaturalist is a wonderful opportunity for the Atlas of Living Australia and our users. It provides an easy-to-use desktop and mobile platform, support for species identification, and tools for assessing data quality. All iNaturalist Australia data is regularly fed into the ALA.

Human observation data – individual sightings of species – are a valuable part of the ALA. This data helps to create a more detailed picture of our national biodiversity, and assists scientists and decision makers to deliver better outcomes for the environment and our species. iNaturalist Australia’s species identification features and data quality measures ensure individual sightings are more valuable than ever.

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