April was Global Citizen Science month. To celebrate, people around the world took part in various citizen projects, from observing the night sky to measuring rainfall. Long Now Boston joined in by participating in the City Nature Challenge. The City Nature Challenge was founded and is organized by the California Academy of Sciences and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles. It is an international celebration of biodiversity observed and documented in and around urban areas.
Historically, cities around the world would compete to see who could make the most observations of nature and find the most species. This year, because of the pandemic, the focus of the event was on collaboration where people documented nature in whatever way they were able, even by observing wildlife in their own backyards.
This event, supported by iNaturalist, resulted in 15,000+ observations from the Greater Boston Area, 772 of which were submitted by the Long Now Boston project. Over 1534 species were identified. Globally, more than 41,000 people from 246 cities in 40 countries participated in making observations on wildlife in urban areas. Remarkably, 32,600 species were identified and over 1300 of these are rare or endangered.
This documentation will aid in providing information about the biodiversity in urban environments. Understanding which species exist in our cities allows researchers to evaluate and protect them. Citizen scientist efforts support scientific endeavors and engage the community, providing substantial data to inform policy development.
Here are some of the images captured by Long Now Boston project members; thanks to all who participated!
April 24-27, 02020: Greater Boston Area