This post is provided by EcoRecord ahead of the 2024 City Nature Challenge.

Do you enjoy spotting wildlife? Would you like to learn more about the plants and animals you see?

In 2016, Los Angeles and San Francisco created the City Nature Challenge – a BioBlitz competition to see which area could record the highest number of animals and plants over the space of four days. This has since grown into an international event, and in 2024, over 500 city areas around the world are set to participate, from Auckland to Zaragoza! Birmingham and the Black Country is one of 22 areas in the UK taking part.

During last year’s challenge, in Birmingham and the Black Country, we managed to make 11,828 observations of a massive 1,355 different species. We made more wildlife observations than any other UK city area and were 7th on the leader board for any city in Europe. We were also 2nd for the number of species recorded in the UK! It is completely free to take part, and all it takes is access to the iNaturalist app or website.

How you can get involved

To join in, all you need to do, is photograph a wild animal or plant, and the app’s inbuilt software can help you identify it.  This means that as well as taking part in the challenge, you can learn more about the wild world around you!

This year’s City Nature Challenge takes place from the 26th to the 29th of April, and during this period the goal is to photograph as much wildlife as you can. Intrigued by a fascinating flower but don’t know what it is? Not sure what insect you’re looking at? The iNaturalist app can help you to find out!

We also host a variety of events during this period, this year includes a BioBlitz at Birmingham Botanical Gardens and more. Click here to book your free places and find out more!

As well as being lots of fun, the City Nature Challenge is really important, as it generates incredibly useful species information, which helps us to monitor the state of wildlife across our region, meaning we can target our conservation activities to better protect wildlife around us. Below is a map containing the areas of the UK which are participating in this year’s challenge, we hope you can join us! You can also click here to find out more about the challenge, and how you can take part.

The content of this article was reposted with permission from EcoRecord.

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