Snapshot of local species taken

06 May 2021 | Research News

Lincoln ecologists, alumni and students have been spotting spiders, counting crabs and watching weta as part of the City Nature Challenge in Christchurch, which kicked off last weekend.

It’s part of an international effort for people to find and document plants and wildlife in cities across the globe and involves submitting pictures to the iNaturalist NZ website, pitting cities against each other to see which can make the most observations and find the most species.

Dr Tim Curran was rock pooling at Taylor’s Mistake on Saturday, while Dr Cor Vink and former staff member Rob Cruickshank set up invertebrate traps at Tūranga, the Christchurch central library, then looked at their contents with microscopes.

Meanwhile, event organiser Dr Jon Sullivan and Associate Professor James Ross explored Living Springs in Lyttleton Harbour on Saturday with Lincoln University students.

After the four-day observing period, the iNaturalist NZ community has one week to upload and identify all the observations.

On 11 May, there will be a wrap-up social event at Tūranga, to celebrate all the hard work and find the final global tally of observations, observers, and species from all of the 400 plus cities in over 40 countries taking part.

More than 7000 observations of about 1300 species have been uploaded for Christchurch so far.

Overall, more than 17,500 observations have been uploaded from across Aotearoa’s participating cities, with 2627 species spotted by 546 observers, and identified by 365 identifiers.

The global total has topped a million observations.