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City Nature Challenge will be online wildlife observation effort

LINCOLN, Neb. – The City Nature Challenge annually encourages a global collaborative effort to observe and record wildlife. This year, in response to the COVID-19 health crisis, the challenge will be completed online.

The City Nature Challenge offers an opportunity to connect with nature and participate in a collective scientific effort, while safely navigating public health challenges. It calls on people to observe and submit photographs of wild plants, animals, and fungi using the free mobile app, iNaturalist. They can upload their observations to the app April 24-27. Those unable to take photos can participate by hosting a virtual identification party April 28-May 3. The results will be announced May 4.

The Lincoln City Nature Challenge will focus on observations found in Lancaster County. That can include any wild plant, animal, fungi, or any other evidence of life, such as scat, fur, tracks, found in your neighborhood, home, yard, or even through your windows. Learn more at OutdoorNebraska.gov/citynaturechallenge.

Participants must closely follow federal and local public health guidelines for social distancing in response to COVID-19. To see how the City Nature Challenge is adapting to COVID-19, visit citynaturechallenge.org/COVID19.

Information gathered at the City Nature Challenge helps authorities make informed conservation decisions that allow humans to coexist sustainably with the plants and animals in their neighborhoods.

In 2019, the City Nature Challenge tallied more than 950,000 observations made by more than 35,000 people in more than 150 cities. More than 1,100 endangered, endemic, or data-deficient species were recorded.

Partners for the City Nature Challenge in Lincoln include Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Lincoln Parks and Recreation, Spring Creek Prairie Audubon Center, Friends of Wilderness Park, The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, Prairie Pines, Citizen Scientists of Nebraska, University of Nebraska State Museum – Morrill Hall, Nebraska Forest Service, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever of Nebraska, and Lincoln Earth Day.

About Jerry Kane

Jerry Kane is the news manager with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. He can be contacted at jerry.kane@nebraska.gov or 402-471-5008.

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