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Mother City wins local species count

Durban participants in the City Nature Challenge record species using the iNaturalist app on their devices. Picture: Duncan Guy.

Durban participants in the City Nature Challenge record species using the iNaturalist app on their devices. Picture: Duncan Guy.

Published May 14, 2022

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Cape Town has won the Southern African chapter of the City Nature Challenge.

The Mother City had the most people submitting species using the iNaturalist app as well as the most species and observations to be placed on a database.

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The 66 265 observations by 1 689 participants came up with 3 822 different species, which also gave Cape Town top score in natural variety, according to the event’s web site.

eThekwini came fourth in both the observation categories with 12 903 and 1 838 respectively. One-hundred-and thirty-one people took part in the April 29 to May 2 event in Durban, which included organised expeditions in various green lungs, among them Burman Bush, Pigeon Valley and Virginia Bush as well as Treasure Beach and the Japanese Gardens.

In between Cape Town and eThekwini came the Garden Route and Overstrand regions, with the Garden Route coming second for species and observers; and Overstrand coming second when it came to observations.

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Other entrants in the Southern African competition were Tshwane, Southern Overberg, Stellenbosch, Nelson Mandela Bay, Johannesburg, Bulawayo, Thohoyandou, Central Botswana, Bloemfontein, Northern Botswana, Kimberley, Harare, Gaborone, Southern Botswana and Francistown.

Globally, 445 cities took part.

La Paz, in Bolivia, proved the world champions with 4 345 species logged by 4 311 participants over 137 866 observations.

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Worldwide, 64 497 people logged 50 533 different species in 1 574 993 observations.

The event started in 2016 for the first Citizen Science Day when the City Nature Challenge was launched as a fun way to capitalise on the friendly rivalry between cities and holding a citizen science event around urban biodiversity.

Participants used the app iNaturalist to load their observations.

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