City Nature Challenge

What do you imagine when you think of "Nature"? Maybe you imagine a pristine wilderness, a rainforest full of life. But nature exists everywhere, even in our cities!

The City Nature Challenge is an international, bioblitz-like citizen science event that was started by members of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, California and the California Academy of Sciences with the goal of finding and identifying as many species as possible in cities around the world. Cities also compete with each other to see who can make the most observations, find the most species, and engage the most people.

Palm Tanager (Thraupis palmarum) on a car mirror.

2021 important dates

April 30 –

May 3

Take pictures of wild animals and plants.

May 4 –

May 9

Identify what you observed.

How to Participate

The City Nature Challenge is open to participants of all ages, regardless of your experience level! It's also easy to participate–all you need is a camera and to follow these steps:

Find organisms

Look for life in your city: animals, plants, fungi, etc. You can also include evidence that you find, like footprints, bones, hair, nests, scat, or anything else that you think could be identified!

Record information on what you see

Be sure to record the location and date at least, but other information like sex, time, or notes on habit can also be useful. And don't forget to take a picture!

Submit your observations to iNaturalist

Other expert naturalists and scientists can help identify what you saw. You can find more information about iNaturalist, including how to sign up, below.

About iNaturalist

iNaturalist is an online citizen science database that allows people to organize their nature observations and collaborate with experts and other naturalists to discuss and identify records. Additionally, it provides valuable data to scientists.

How to use it:

1. Create a free account on iNaturalist.org
2. Download the app through Google Play or the App Stores
Don't worry–it's free! Of course, you can also use the website if you prefer.
3. Submit your observations!
Be sure to include where and when you made your observation, evidence of the observation (usually in the form of a photo), and your best guess for an identification. And don't worry if you don't have a specific identification; you can identify it as part of a wider group and wait for others to improve the ID.
4. Wait for other naturalists to provide information about your records
If the iNaturalist community comes to a consensus about the species, your observations will be promoted from "needs ID" to "Research Grade"!

2020 Results

During the City Nature Challenge last year, 41.165 participants reported 32.600 species out of a total 815.258 observations worldwide.

2020 Panama Statistics

AreaObservationsSpeciesPeople
Azuero (Herrera)3515112563
Bocas del Toro59133226
Cocle153067856
Colon34931139109
Darien123160624
David, Chiriquí70961850180
Panama City, Panama2347785118
Veraguas2332858135
West Panama146757681

For more information, including how the event was started, how COVID-19 will affect the event, complete results from 2020, and teaching tools, visit the website by clicking on the logo or using this link: https://citynaturechallenge.org/