Hawker Dragonfly by Jerome Whittingham

Are you up for a City Nature Challenge?

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By Christine Harding, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust. Cover photo: Hawker Dragonfly by Jerome Whittingham.

Staffordshire to unite for four-day challenge to record as many wildlife sightings as possible.

Staffordshire Ecological Records (SER) and Staffordshire Wildlife Trust are calling on people across the county to record wildlife sightings for the 2023 City Nature Challenge.

The City Nature Challenge is an annual competition among cities all over the world to see how many wild species their citizens can spot over four days: Friday 28 April to Monday 1 May. This is the first year that Staffordshire is taking part.

George Wood, Ecological Data Officer for SER, said: “This is a great way for lots of us to get out to see our county’s amazing nature. Every sighting counts and you can record everything from bumble bees to frogs, foxes, and birds. 

“To take part you’ll need to either download the free iNaturalist app on your phone or tablet, or use the website to record sightings. For a record to count you’ll need to snap a photo of what you’ve found and upload it to iNaturalist. You can use the app to identify what you’ve found or use the in-built search function to select the species if you know what you’ve seen.

“Not only is this a fun way to get involved in recording nature – the information gathered will give us vital data for our county and help us work to protect it. Observations recorded during the challenge will help us map changes in the distribution and population of Staffordshire’s wildlife.”

More information about how to take part, and an iNaturalist instruction video, can be found online: www.staffs-wildlife.org.uk/city-nature-challenge-staffordshire 

Can we get Staffordshire on the CNC Leader Board?

The City Nature Challenge is organised globally by the California Academy of Sciences and the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum. In 2022 445 cities took part worldwide and collectively made over 1,600,000 wildlife observations – the biggest CNC ever.

The records are collated in the iNaturalist Recording System and the leader board is updated in real time!

Cities are ranked according to:

Number of Observations
• Number of Species
• Number of Observers

The final results are announced on 8th May.

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