About the City Nature Challenge 2021: Bonner County (CNCBC): April 30–May 9, 2021

This is the inaugural year for Bonner County to participate in The City Nature Challenge (CNC). The CNC is an ongoing project, using the iNaturalist app, to document urban biodiversity and engage city residents in the nature around them. The project is framed as a competition between cities to see which can make the most observations, identify the most species, or have the most participants. The program was started in 2016 by the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles and the California Academy of Sciences as a competition between Los Angeles and San Francisco. It has grown into an international competition:
2017: 16 U.S. cities
2018: 68 cities around the world
2019: 150 cities around the world
2020: 244 cities around the world
2021: 359 cities around the world

Each city challenge gets to define its own boundaries / project areas. And, as you can see from this year’s list, most of the challenges are in metropolitan areas:

But, as more and more people get involved, the projects have begun to expand into more rural areas (while keeping the umbrella name “City” challenge).

Before this year, no city in Idaho has participated. This year, both Boise and Bonner County are participating. Here are the iNaturalist Project pages for each where you can see the boundaries:

Boise Area:

Bonner County:

The 2021 City Nature Challenge will take place from April 30–May 9, 2021. The first four days, April 30–May 3, are the days that observations will be collected (aka the BioBlitz), and the last six days, May 4–May 9, are when those observations will be identified and verified. Participants can also continue to upload observations during this six-day period as long as the sightings took place during April 30–May 3. Then, on May 10, the results will be announced. The competition part of the CNC involves seeing which challenge can get the most: 1) Total Observations, 2) Total Species, and 3) Total People.

In addition to the “competition” between all the CNCs, a friendly regional competition will take place between Boise and Bonner County…and with the CNC in Red Lodge, MT (Carbon County). Here is their Project page:

Where can you go to make observations?

While most City Nature Challenges are in urban areas, the City Nature Challenge: Bonner County (CNCBC) will encompass the entire county. And observations can be made anywhere nature exists, including your own backyard. Your home is a complex ecosystem and contributor to the larger landscape. Be sure to spend lots of time in your yard and/or neighborhood exploring the diversity of plants, birds, insects, mammals, and other wildlife coming through at all hours. You might meet some neighbors you never knew you had!

Participation is easy. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Download the free iNaturalist app to your device.
  2. Visit iNaturalist.org and set up an account (you must be at least 13 years old).
  3. Sign in then take photos of wild plants or animals anywhere in the map area (Bonner County) between April 30th and May 3rd.
  4. Upload your photos to iNaturalist.
  5. Learn more as your photos are identified by the iNaturalist community.

Why should you participate?

There is nature all around us, even in our cities. Knowing what species are here, and where they are, helps us study and protect them. But the ONLY way to effectively do that is by working together (scientists, land managers, community members, etc.) to find and document nature in our area.


The following organizations have partnered together to help encourage the documentation of the flora and fauna in Bonner County:
East Bonner County Library District, Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness. IDAH2O, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Kinnikinnick Native Plant Society, Kalispel Tribe, Kaniksu Land Trust, Pend Oreille Chapter of the Idaho Master Naturalists, Selkirk Alliance for Science, and the University of Idaho – Sandpoint Organic Ag Center.

Each partner will publicize the CNCBC to their own members.

Here is a link to the CNCBC Facebook Event:

Here is the link to the CNCBC Facebook Page:

Note about the names/abbreviations:
The "scientific" name of the county challenge is: City Nature Challenge 2021: Bonner County, ID (that naming convention is mandated by the official organizers). The "common" name is City Nature Challenge: Bonner County. And the easier to remember abbreviation is CNCBC.

Posted by geogehrig geogehrig, March 15, 2021 14:07


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