City Nature Challenge 2018: Los Angeles's Journal

May 08, 2018

Share Your Thoughts on the 2018 City Nature Challenge

Thank you for submitting observations to this year's City Nature Challenge. Worldwide, 17,000 people recorded 441,888 observations over the course of just 4 days. It was the biggest period of iNaturalist use ever! In L.A., we were able to increase our number of observations by 1,271 over last year and the number of species by 339! We also remained in the top 5 for number of people observing (that's out of a field of 68 cities - way to go L.A.!).

You can help us evaluate and improve upon the City Nature Challenge by filling out this short online survey. As with the City Nature Challenge itself, the goal of this survey is to gain the perspective of a global community and will help to evaluate how projects of this type can inform best practices around the world. If you've already completed it, either online or at one of our events, please accept our grateful thanks. If not, please take a few minutes to complete it now.

Link to survey:

Thank you for your support of community science and contributing to the first GLOBAL City Nature Challenge.


NHMLA Community Science Program

Posted on May 08, 2018 19:17 by amyjaecker-jones amyjaecker-jones | 0 comments | Leave a comment

May 04, 2018

City Nature Challenge 2018 Results!!

This year's City Nature Challenge was AMAZING! Almost 70 cities around the world, all mobilizing their residents and visitors to go out and find and document their local nature. The energy and enthusiasm for the City Nature Challenge was once again amazing- watching hundreds of thousands of observations flow in from around the world was truly inspiring. Our collective impact was obvious and incredible - we also gave iNaturalist its biggest 4 days in a row EVER!

Here are the results of the City Nature Challenge (as of 9:00 a.m., May 4 in each city’s time zone):
All 68 cities together:
Observations: 441,888
People: 17,329

All 63 cities using iNaturalist:
Observations: 423,845
Species: 18,116
People: 16,544

We also made 4,075 Research Grade observations of 599 rare, endangered, and threatened species globally, and added over 100 new species that had not previously been recorded on iNaturalist EVER!

Congratulations to our top five observers, species-finders, and identifiers across ALL the City Nature Challenge cities:
Observers: @krentan, @thary, @danielatha, @affan1990, @ecologist
Species-finders: @anewman, @rcurtis, @finatic, @nanofishology, @sambiology
Identifiers: @jrebman, @srall, @pihlaviita, @connlindajo, @sambiology
Big shout out to @jrebman for making over 10,000 identification!!

This year it was a sweep, with the San Francisco Bay Area winning in all three categories.
Most observations: 41,737
Most species found: 3,211
Most participants: 1,532

Here's the top five in each category:

San Francisco Bay Area: 41,737
Dallas/Fort Worth Area: 34,218
San Diego County: 33,448
Klang Valley / Greater Kuala Lumpur: 25,287
Washington- D.C. Metro Area: 22,800

San Francisco Bay Area: 3,211
Houston Area: 3,088
San Diego County: 2,946
Hong Kong SAR: 2,932
Dallas/Fort Worth Area: 2,560

San Francisco Bay Area: 1,532
San Diego County: 1,211
Boston: 992
Washington- D.C. Metro Area: 872
Los Angeles County: 855

...and some more results...
City with highest percentage of verifiable (has evidence of the organism and is not marked captive or cultivated) observations: Tulsa, Oklahoma with 98.9%
City with highest percentage of verifiable observations making it to Research Grade: Cádiz, Spain with 70.5%
City that added the most new species to their region on iNaturalist through the City Nature Challenge: Kuala Lumpur (Klang Valley), Malaysia with 1392 new species documented on iNaturalist
City that added the most new iNaturalist participants to their region through the City Nature Challenge: San Diego, California with 733 new observers added during the City Nature Challenge

Thanks again to everyone who participated in the City Nature Challenge this year! And stay tuned for next year, when the City Nature Challenge hopefully makes it to all seven continents--anyone got friends in Africa or Oceania who want to organize in 2019?

Posted on May 04, 2018 19:54 by lhiggins lhiggins | 0 comments | Leave a comment

May 02, 2018

Our Numbers are Climbing!

We have just passed last year's numbers for observations and species. We are currently at 18, 274 observations and 2,296 species. Thank you everyone for your help with observations and IDs. Keep up the good work!

Posted on May 02, 2018 21:49 by amyjaecker-jones amyjaecker-jones | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Let's Keep the Energy Going!

As you know, the observation period ended at midnight last night. Since then, many of you have worked tirelessly to help identify observations. Thank you!!!

Our numbers have been rising, but they are still below last year's. However, the contest is not over yet. Any picture taken during April 27-30 can still be entered into iNaturalist up until May 4 at 9:00 a.m. That's another 36 hours to enter your observations and to add IDs.

Why should you help identify observations?

1) It makes people feel good. Imagine if no one looked at your submissions and you never found out what what that weird looking bug was? Would you want to keep participating? Would you learn anything new?

2) In order for an observation to become "research grade" it needs to have three things: a photo or sound recording, a geographic location, and a community ID (meaning that at least one other person agrees that it is a red-tailed hawk, striped skunk, or asian ladybeetle, etc.) Research grade observations are important because they are the most useful for scientists AND they are automatically fed into the Global Biodiversity Information Facility. How cool is that -- a whole world of researchers using your data!

3) It raises both our count for species identifiers. Let's face it, we're probably not going to beat San Francisco in number of observations, but what about species? The difference is a lot closer in that category.

4) You might have fun! Have you heard about the ID Party we're hosting tomorrow night at Angel City Brewery? It's going to be a blast. Come, hang out with us, help with observations, and maybe drink some beer. It's May 2 from 4:00 - 9:00 p.m. See the link for more information. Reservations have officially closed, but feel free to come anyway.

How can I help if I'm not an expert?

1) If you're a beginner -- there are always many observations that simply list "bird" or "plant" and many more that don't have any sort of label. If you can make,at least one general suggestion, you're helping to narrow it down. We do have experts looking, but they can't find that rare lizard if no one has even added the label, "lizard" to the observation.

2) If you're intermediate -- pick one category and dive deep. Narrow your search results to that one category and either confirm someone's guess or suggest something different. My husband decided that he was going to look at brown widow spiders. After years of nighttime spider hunts, he knows them really well.

3) You might learn something new. Poking around in iNaturalist invariably leads me to learn something new and at tomorrow night's ID Party, we're going to have scientists from the museum share tips for identification. So come to hang out with us, help with observations, boost our numbers, drink some beer and learn something new!

We're almost in the final stretch. Whether you make your identifications from the comfort of your own home, while riding the train to work, or at tomorrow's party, we hope that you'll join in the ID phase of the City Nature Challenge.

Posted on May 02, 2018 04:40 by amyjaecker-jones amyjaecker-jones | 1 comment | Leave a comment

April 30, 2018

End of Day 3

Well Los Angeles, we have a lot further to go if we want to beat San Francisco. They're currently in the lead with more than 28,000 observations, more than 2,000 species, and more than 1,200 people. San Diego is trotting along behind them and Dallas/Fort Worth is keeping a steady 3rd. Hong Kong continues to be in the top 5 cities.

What are the numbers for L.A.? We're currently #11. At the end of Day 3, we have 10,616 observations, 1,596 species, and 638 people. A lot of you are probably like me. You've been out in the field and still have observations to upload. We also still have the observations from social media, email, and text to enter into iNaturalist. But let's not rely on those numbers to save us. We have one more day to get out there and take as many photos as possible. Let's see how high we can push those numbers. We can do it L.A.!

Posted on April 30, 2018 05:08 by amyjaecker-jones amyjaecker-jones | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 28, 2018

Day 1 Update

What a great first day we had!

The NHMLA community science team split up and attended two different events - bioblitzing at Pt. Fermin and working with iNaturalist power users and educational staff at the Los Angeles Zoo. It was great to meet so many people in person!

Our totals, so far, are 1,956 observations, 598 species, 101 identifiers, and 190 observers. And this was a work day! We expect even more participation on Saturday. If you are looking for something to do, you can join one of the local L.A. events (see earlier journal post for list of events) -- or go out on your own.

If you want to see how L.A. measures up against the rest of the world, check out the official leaderboard (this is on the City Nature Challenge website, rather than iNaturalist because there are a few cities using different platforms. San Francisco and San Diego both made strong starts, but we can beat them. GO L.A.!

Posted on April 28, 2018 04:22 by amyjaecker-jones amyjaecker-jones | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 27, 2018

The Game is Afoot!

It's great to wake up this morning and see that people have already contributed to the project for Los Angeles! Thank you @tmaso, @sherry22, @paulaboub, @fundad, @ lhiggins, @samatha, @highdesertgal, and @scubabruin were early observers.

I also wanted to address a concern that we've heard about from other users around the world. Under the new project system, you don't need to manually add your observations to the project - it actually won't allow you to do so. This is a change from the way that we are all used to projects working. Any observations made within the boundary of the project will automatically be added. Don't worry if you don't see them right away; it may take a few minutes. Rest assured, they will be counted!

I wish you all a good day of nature photography and hope to meet you at one of our in-person events.


Posted on April 27, 2018 14:36 by amyjaecker-jones amyjaecker-jones | 4 comments | Leave a comment

April 26, 2018

The Global City Natue Challenge Has Begun

The City Nature Challenge began this morning at 8:01 a.m. in Tokyo (Japan Standard Time). It was closely followed by Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur. Our time is coming. We go live at 12:01 a.m. so get ready!

If you want to check out the competition, there is a global leaderboard at this link ( You'll be able to see the totals for #observations, #species, and #people as they accrue.

It's going to be a great weekend!

Posted on April 26, 2018 18:15 by amyjaecker-jones amyjaecker-jones | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 24, 2018

City Nature Challenge Events

Don't miss these opportunities to get together with others and participate in this weekend's City Nature Challenge! Bring your family along for added fun.


Point Fermin BioBlitz Day 1
Organized by NHMLA and the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Point Fermin, San Pedro, CA 90731
Event is free, but please RSVP by Tuesday, April 24 (

iNaturalist Workshop and Observation Time Focused on Plants
Organized by Los Angeles State Historic Park
4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Los Angeles State Historic Park
1799 Baker Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
No RSVP needed


Debs Park Bioblitz
Organized by the Audobon Center at Debs Park
8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
4700 North Griffin Ave, Los Angeles, 90031

South Bay BioBlitz
Organized by NHMLA and the County of Los Angeles Parks and Recreation
9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Deane Dana Friendship Park, 1805 W 9th St. San Pedro, CA 90732
Event is free, but please RSVP (

Rubio Canyon BioBlitz
Organized by Arroyos & Foothills Conservancy and Amelia & Charlotte McDonald
9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Rubio Canyon Trailhead, Mount Lowe Railway Trail, Altadena, CA 91001
No RSVP needed

iNaturalist Workshop and Observation Time Focused on Insects
Organized by Los Angeles State Historic Park
1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Los Angeles State Historic Park
1799 Baker Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
No RSVP needed

Malibu Lagoon Bioblitz
Organized by Heal the Bay
1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Malibu Lagoon State Beach
23200 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90265
Event is free, but please RSVP (

Point Fermin BioBlitz Day 2
Organized by NHMLA and the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Point Fermin, San Pedro, CA 90731
Event is free, but please RSVP by Tuesday, April 24 (


iNaturalist Workshop and Observation Time Focused on Birds
Organized by Los Angeles State Historic Park
5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Los Angeles State Historic Park
1799 Baker Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
No RSVP needed


Grand Park BioBlitz
Organized by the Los Angeles County and Los Angeles City Chief Sustainability Offices
11:00 a.m.
Civic Center/Grand Park Metro station on Hill Street (between 1st & Temple St)
No RSVP needed


ID Party at NHMLA
Organized by NHMLA
10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
900 West Exposition Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90007
Event is free, but please RSVP by Friday, April 27 (


ID Party at Angel City Brewery
Organized by NHMLA
4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Angel City Brewery, 216 Alameda St. Los Angeles, CA 90012
Event is free, but please RSVP by Friday, April 27 (

Posted on April 24, 2018 03:26 by amyjaecker-jones amyjaecker-jones | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 18, 2018

Check Out the New Look of iNaturalist

You may have noticed that iNaturalist just made changes to the way they are organizing projects. As a result, the page for City Nature Challenge 2018: Los Angeles has a whole new look! You won't find any observations recorded yet, because the Challenge is still 8 days, 11 hours, 13 minutes, and 11 seconds away. How can we say exactly how much time remains before the Challenge begins? One of the new features you'll see on this page is a running countdown.

As the seconds count down... the excitement level builds!

Now it's only 8 days, 11 hours, 11 minutes, and 50 seconds until this year's GLOBAL City Nature Challenge begins! We can't wait to see all the observations you'll make in just 8 days, 11 hours, 11 minutes, and 4 seconds...

Posted on April 18, 2018 19:55 by amyjaecker-jones amyjaecker-jones | 0 comments | Leave a comment