The iNaturalist City Nature Challenge is an annual event to see which city can record the most observations, species, and participants over a four-day period. 2023 was the third year that Wellington has participated. Science Researcher Lara Shepherd highlights some of the interesting discoveries made during the challenge.
This year Wellington’s target area expanded from just the Wellington City Council area to include everywhere within the Greater Wellington Regional Council boundary. Consequently, our number of observations and species all increased and we cracked 2000 species observed for the first time (approximately 800 more than last year!). Our number of observers nearly doubled this year to 254 participants.
The thirteen most observed species during the Challenge were all native to the wider Wellington region and, except for the knobbled orbweaver spider, were plants.
New records on iNaturalist for Wellington
Many species were recorded on iNaturalist for the first time in the wider Wellington region during the City Nature Challenge. Some of them are shown below.
These were some of my favourite photos taken during the City Nature Challenge.
Thank you to everyone that participated this year, both in taking observations and making identifications. Of the cities participating, the Greater Wellington region recorded the most observations, species, and observers within Aotearoa New Zealand. Globally we were 22nd for the number of species recorded.