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Bio Blitz at Malibu Lagoon this Sunday 11am – 1pm, April 28

April 25, 2019

There will be a Bio Blitz at Malibu Lagoon this Sunday
immediately following our lagoon birdwalks (8:30am & 10am)

The Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains is hosting this incredible citizen science project and they hope that many (or all!) of our birdwalkers will join them. They will have people at the lagoon on Sunday to help with iNaturalist and with linking to the challenge.

If you would like to participate in the City Nature Challenge: Malibu Lagoon Bioblitz with the RCD on April 28th from 11am – 1pm:

1. Load the iNaturalist app to your smartphone
2. Bring your phone with you ready to take pictures.
3. Load pictures to iNaturalist and make sure the location feature is on or that you are noting the location.

Bracted Twistflower -Streptanthus bracteatus. See text in press release below.
(Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia – Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at University of Texas)

If you need help with any of these steps RCD educators will be at the lagoon to walk you through the process. It is a great way to learn about citizen science! You don’t even need to know the species. The Natural History Museum of LA is going to be having a species ID party to make sure as many identifications as possible are research grade.

You are welcome to take pictures during your walk and load them during the Bio Blitz or on your own.

If you do not have a smart phone and would like to still participate you can bring a camera and submit your photos in the way that works best for you.

email –
social media – #NatureinLA
Text – 213 663-6632 website or apps

City Nature Challenge General Rules.

Take photos: 12:00 am April 26 to 11:59 pm April 29

Upload photos/make IDs: April 30 to May 5

Photos of: Wild plants and animals (no pets or humans)

Geographic Boundary: Los Angeles County

Here’s their announcement/press release. [Chuck Almdale]


APRIL 26-29, 2019

Fourth annual challenge grows to over 150 participating cities on six continents and over 600 partnering organizations; results announced on May 6.

As citizen and community science initiatives continue to increase in popularity, this year’s fourth annual City Nature Challenge will expand to more than 150 cities across the globe. Kicking off April 26 at 12:01 am in each time zone, the Challenge runs through April 29, 11:59 pm. The multi-city, global event calls on current and aspiring citizen scientists, nature and science fans, and people of all ages and science backgrounds to observe and submit pictures of wild plants, animals, and fungi using the free app iNaturalist. Identification of photographed species will be crowdsourced through the online community April 30-May 5 and results will be announced on May 6.

There is nature in every city, and the best way to study it is by connecting community and scientists through citizen science. With human populations worldwide increasingly concentrated in cities, the study of urban biodiversity is quickly becoming integral to the future of plants and wildlife on Earth. Large pools of data, including those built through iNaturalist, natural history museums, and science organizations, help authorities make informed conservation decisions that allow humans to coexist sustainably with the plants and animals in their neighborhoods.

After launching the first-ever City Nature Challenge in 2016, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHM) and San Francisco’s California Academy of Sciences (CAS) are hosting their fourth—and much larger—effort. Last year’s five-day challenge invited U.S. participants in over 60 cities to observe and submit pictures of wildlife they encountered using iNaturalist. Participants added over 440,000 observations of nature to iNaturalist, and scientists can use these pools of data to understand and conserve urban wildlife.

This year, the Challenge is expanding, and organizers estimate that 750,000 observations will be made by over 25,000 people in over 160 participating cities. The data collected gives scientists, educators, urban planners, and policymakers insight into the biodiversity of urban locales throughout the world, including in Los Angeles.

“Urbanization is one of the greatest global threats to biodiversity. What better place to study it than right here in Los Angeles, one of the largest mega-cities on the planet,” says Dr. Lori Bettison-Varga, president and director of NHM says. “We want to use our experience with engaging the public to help make cities more appealing to wildlife and humans alike.”

For both budding and veteran citizen scientists, participating is easy:

  1. Find wildlife. It can be any plant, animal, fungi, slime mold, or any other evidence of life (scat, fur, tracks, shells, carcasses!) found in your participating city.
  2. Take a picture of what you find, and be sure to note the location of the critter or plant.
  3. Share your observations by uploading your findings through iNaturalist or your city’s chosen platform.

Scientists can’t be everywhere at once, so without community observations, they’d miss some incredible finds. During the 2018 City Nature Challenge, an observation of a hammerhead worm in the San Francisco Bay Area marked the first-ever recording of this species, which is native to Asia, in the U.S. In central Texas, the Bracted Twistflower—a candidate for federal protection—bloomed in deep purple hues across its only known home in the Edwards Plateau.

In Hong Kong, observations of an incense tree that inspired the city’s name (Hong Kong translates to “scented harbor”) helped document how the once-abundant tree has declined across its native range. And the observation of an endangered songbird flitting through swamps outside of Bogotá, Colombia renewed hope for the future of this rare bird. Many other endangered, endemic, or data deficient species were recorded during the City Nature Challenge: This influx of information gives scientists, educators, urban planners, and policymakers insight into the biodiversity of urban locales throughout the world.

More Information and Education Toolkit

Signing up is easy and free. Visit from your browser, or download iNaturalist from the Apple App Store or Google Play store.

Social Media
Twitter handle: @citnatchallenge

City Nature Challenge YouTube video overview

Want to Learn More? iNaturalist video tutorials

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