Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is looking for businesses and organizations to participate in the 2019 City Nature Challenge on April 26-29. The Omaha-Metropolitan area will compete against more than 160 cities across the globe for the title of “the world’s most biodiverse city” during the challenge.
The City Nature Challenge is an international effort for people to discover and document plants and wildlife in cities across the globe. Cities compete against each other to see who has the most observations of nature, the most different species and who can engage the most people in their community.
Taking part in the 2019 City Nature Challenge is free and easy. Anyone and everyone is welcome to become involved in the event. Participants will need to do the following:
• Download National Geographic’s free iNaturalist app, available on Apple’s App Store or Google Play for Android. Once downloaded, select the project titled “City Nature Challenge 2019: Omaha Metro.”
• Find wildlife around the Omaha community between April 26 and midnight April 29, 2019. This can include any plant, animal, fungi, slime mold or other evidence of life, such as scat, fur, tracks, shells and carcasses. Wildlife must be native to the participating city. Zoo animals will be excluded from the challenge and do not count as observations.
• Take a picture of what is discovered and take note of its location.
• Report the findings on the iNaturalist app.
By taking part in the City Nature Challenge and identifying which species are living in our city and where they are located, participants are ultimately helping scientists, land managers and the community better work together to study and protect Omaha’s wildlife.
In 2016, the City Nature Challenge was created by citizen science staff at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and California Academy of Sciences. The challenge was originally a competition between only Los Angeles and San Francisco for its first year. In 2017, the City Nature Challenge went national, and in 2018 the challenge became an international event.
Businesses or organizations that are interested in participating should contact Pam Eby at Pamela.Eby@OmahaZoo.com. An informational meeting will take place on January 19 at 1 p.m. in the Zoo’s Robert B. Daugherty Education Center. For more information on the 2019 City Nature Challenge, visit OmahaZoo.com/CityNatureChallenge.