Canadians Contribute to iNaturalist Database in 2024 City Nature Challenge

Canada contributed over 120,000 wildlife observations to the 2024 City Nature Challenge, a 65% increase from the previous year. The international effort, which recorded over 2 million observations, aims to track global biodiversity and assess climate change impacts.

author-image
Bijay Laxmi
New Update
Canadians Contribute to iNaturalist Database in 2024 City Nature Challenge

Canadians Contribute to iNaturalist Database in 2024 City Nature Challenge

The 2024 City Nature Challenge has concluded, with Canadians making significant contributions to the iNaturalist.ca database. The international effort, which ran from April 26-29, aims to track and showcase global biodiversity while assessing the impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss during the critical spring species emergence period.

Why this matters: The data collected through the City Nature Challenge plays a crucial role in understanding the effects of climate change and biodiversity loss, which have far-reaching consequences for ecosystems and human societies. By contributing to this effort, Canadians are helping to inform conservation efforts and mitigate the impacts of environmental degradation.

In collaboration with the Canadian Wildlife Federation (CWF), 40 Canadian cities participated in this year's challenge. Metro Vancouver Regional District, Montreal, Cape Breton Regional Municipality, and Kincardine led the way in various categories. Over 120,000 wildlife observations were made in Canada alone, contributing to the more than 2 million observations recorded worldwide.

Among the Canadian observations, 1,600 were of species at risk, including six of Canada's eight at-risk turtle species and several rare whales. James Pagé, species at risk and biodiversity specialist for CWF, noted, "It was a super close race between Vancouver and Montreal as they traded top spot for most observations throughout the four days."

Participation inthe 2024 City Nature Challenge increased by 25% both nationally and internationally compared to the previous year. Notably, the number of observations contributed by Canadians increased by 65%, more than double the international increase of 30%. Pagé emphasized the importance of these observations, stating,"These observations are critical to assessing global impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss, at a key time of year when species are emerging or returning in the spring."

The City Nature Challenge was first established in 2016 by the California Academy of Sciences and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. It expanded nationally in 2017 and became an international event in 2018. The public can contribute to the iNaturalist.ca database throughout the year by participating in CWF's Observation Nation project.

The data collected through the City Nature Challenge and iNaturalist.ca plays a vital role in helping scientists track and conserve biodiversity. With the increasing participation and observations contributed by Canadians, the country is making a substantial impact in understanding and addressing the effects of climate change and biodiversity loss on a global scale.