Nature-lovers across Lancashire, Greater Manchester and the Liverpool City Region are being invited to participate in a global citizen science project, the City Nature Challenge, by submitting wildlife observations from each region.
City Nature Challenge is organised on a global scale by the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and the California Academy of Sciences. Between Friday 30th April and Monday 3rd May, wildlife and science fans of all ages and abilities will be called on to observe and submit observations of nature using the free wildlife recording mobile app iNaturalist.
Whether it’s flocks of birds flying overhead, trees lining our streets, flowers in gardens or even spiders in our homes, nature can be found all around us, and by recording and sharing wildlife sightings, people can make a difference to the wildlife in their region. Wildlife records are an important resource for conservation organisations and charities, helping to build up a better picture of how particular areas or species are faring and how they might be responding to habitat losses or improvements, and climate change.
Rachel Cripps, Conservation Officer at Lancashire Wildlife Trust, says: “Wildlife sightings are used to promote and protect important natural places, and aid conservation and scientific research. With more people developing an appreciation for nature and greenspaces over the past year, the City Nature Challenge is the perfect opportunity for amateurs and experts to get involved in wildlife recording. By taking part, not only will people discover amazing plants, animals and fungi that live alongside us, their wildlife sightings will help us better understand and study the natural world.”
Participating is easy. People can join in the Challenge between Friday 30th April and Monday 3rd May by photographing wildlife in their homes, neighbourhoods, gardens, parks or anywhere else in their region.
Photos can be of any wild plant, animal, fungus or any other evidence of life, such as scat, fur, feathers, tracks, shells or carcasses. The images then need to be uploaded onto the iNaturalist app, along with the date and location of the sighting. You don’t even have to know anything about the species you are observing, as iNaturalist uses photo-recognition to suggest what it could be.
Teams of experts will also be reviewing and updating the information that’s submitted, so you can log back in later and learn more about what you’ve spotted. INaturalist can be downloaded through the Apple store, Google Play