Journal archives for April 2021

April 25, 2021

Here's what's planned for the City Nature Challenge in Ōtautahi/Christchurch city

For all four days of the 2021 City Nature Challenge, from Friday 30 April to Monday 3 May, Christchurch city/Ōtautahi will be outside nature watching. Tūranga, the central library, will be our hub throughout the City Nature Challenge. See

Folk have got a variety of trips and events planned to get out and document all the species living in Christchurch. Below are the trips we know about so far, from the more formal to the casual.

If there's something below happening in your area, feel free to message the user on iNaturalist NZ and get the details. We'll also update this page with more details as they come in.

Jenny Saito (@jennysaito) and Colin Meurk (@meurkc) are leading an eight day walk of the amazing Christchurch 360 Trail, starting on Sunday 25 April and finishing Sunday 2 May. During the City Nature Challenge, they'll be doing the Spencer Park to Pages Rd section on Friday, on Saturday they'll be walking from Pages Road around the estuary and oxidation ponds, through Ferrymead to Sumner & Taylors Mistake, and on Sunday they'll finish by walking from Taylors Mistake to Gondola via Godley Heads. The team is already in place for that walk, but you'll be able to follow their progress on iNaturalist NZ and leave comments and identifications.

Sarah Mankelow will be pond dipping at Te Oranga Waikura 10–11 am on Friday morning, 521 Ferry Road, next to the Kimihia Early Learning Centre (see

Paula Greer (@pagreer) will be leading a Canterbury Botanical Society walk of the Avon River on Saturday starting at Barbados Street cemetery at 9.30 am and walking through the Red Zone. See the Canterbury Botanical Society website for details. All are welcome.

On Saturday morning from 10–12, Annette Bolton (@annettebolton) & Simon Watts (@ simonwatts) will be exploring the sand dunes and estuary at South Shore. Meet at the Southshore Spit Reserve at 10 AM. All welcome. [More details are in the comment by @simonwatts below.]

Join Tim Curran (@timcurran) of Lincoln University and Spencer Virgin (@svirgin) of the University of Canterbury for a 1.5 hour rockpooling expedition at Taylor’s Mistake on Saturday 1 May. Meet at 1:15pm on the beach in front of the Taylor’s Mistake Surf Lifesaving Club and we’ll head off and explore the rockpools to the north and/or south of the beach. Please bring sun protection, warm clothing, suitable shoes (e.g. gumboots), drinks and snacks. Tim’s mobile is 0221206336.

Alice Shanks (@alice_shanks) is leading a Canterbury Botanical Society trip to Magnet Bay, Banks Peninsula, on Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm. See the Canterbury Botanical Society website for details. There is a limit of ten people for this trip. [See the comment by @alice_shanks below with more details.]

Throughout the event, Rob Cruickshank (@robcruickshank) & Cor Vink (@corvink) will be setting up invertebrate traps at Tūranga, the central library, and looking at their contents with microscopes. Stop by to see what they're finding.

Jon Sullivan (@jon_sullivan), Laura Molles (@laura-nz), and others, will be leading short public nature walks out from Tūranga, the central library, throughout Sunday. We're hoping to line up people to lead nature walks from Tūranga on the Saturday also.

On Monday 3 May, Colin Meurk (@meurkc) and Paula Godfrey (@paulagodfrey) will be leading a walk through the grey/rubble-fields and cemeteries of the city. All welcome. More details will be available soon.

Nathan Odgers (@crellow) will be exploring the Styx River area on Friday.

Vicky Southworth will be leading an exploration of the Opawaho-Heathcote River.

Karen Banwell (@karen674) will be exploring the Lyttelton Harbour shore.

Alex Fergus (@fergus) will be exploring the Akaroa area over two days.

Pieter Pelser (@pelser), Ian Dickie (@iandickie), and Steve Pawson (@stevepawson) will be exploring the University of Canterbury campus.

Sarah Mankelow will be doing a rocky shore scramble in Corsair Bay.

Paula Godfrey (@paulagodfrey) will be exploring the summit and reserves on the shaded side of Mt Herbert , Banks Peninsula.

Jon Sullivan (@jon_sullivan) and James Ross (@rossj3) will be exploring Living Springs in Lyttelton Harbour on Saturday with Lincoln University students.

Jon Sullivan (@jon_sullivan) will be running from the Sign of the Kiwi to Cathedral Square and back on Monday, making observations along the way.

If you've got something planned that you want everyone to know about, please drop it in the comments below. Otherwise, go exploring with friends and family in your neighbourhood. How many species you can find? What's in flower and fruit at the moment? Can you find something you've never seen before? Upload anything you photograph or record onto iNaturalist NZ with the free iNaturalist app or our iNaturalist NZ website. Our enthusiastic community of nature experts will pitch in and tell you what you've found.

After the four day observing period, the iNaturalist NZ community has one week to upload and identify all of our observations. During this time there will be two upload and identification workshops at Tūranga on Thursday 6 May and Sunday 9 May (we’ll give you more precise details nearer the time). These will be opportunities for us to get together to make a concerted effort to get everything uploaded and identified, to have some fun learning from each other, and to talk to the public about what we’re doing and what we’ve found.

At 6.00 pm – 8.00 pm on the evening of Tuesday 11 May there will be a wrap up social event in the TSB Space on the 1st floor of Tūranga to celebrate all our hard work. By this time we will have the final global tally of observations, observers, and species from all of the 400+ cities in more 40 countries taking part.

Posted on April 25, 2021 10:30 by jon_sullivan jon_sullivan | 15 comments | Leave a comment

April 30, 2021

Day One Re-cap

Kia ora Ōtautahi!

It’s the end of day 1 of the City Nature Challenge - thanks to everyone who got out and about in Christchurch today to document our local biodiversity! Christchurch posted the first observations of the global event just past midnight, and the final cities to join around the world are just getting started now.

As of about 11:00PM, we've tallied 950 observations of 388 species from 36 observers, with identifications being provided by 76 users - a solid start! @jennysaito is at the top of the observation and species leaderboards for Christchurch this evening, with 217 observations of 92 species. Impressive! The most-observed species so far is the mighty fantail. The creepiest species I learned existed today, courtesy of @fuligogirl, is "Devil’s Fingers."

This year we are one of 5 New Zealand cities participating in the City Nature Challenge. Overall, there are 2858 observations of 942 species from 134 observers across Aotearoa. You can see the New Zealand overview at: if you haven’t discovered it already. If you have already discovered the overview, you’ll probably notice that Pōneke/Wellington City is at the top of the Aotearoa leaderboard. Can we overtake them on Saturday….?

Posted on April 30, 2021 10:52 by laura-nz laura-nz | 1 comment | Leave a comment