Global wildlife challenge reveals amazing results

A worldwide citizen science project collected almost 450,000 observations in only four days.

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One of the survey teams in Bristol and Bath © Becky Dyer

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An urban wildlife recording competition saw 17,000 people submit 441,888 observations between 27 – 30 April 2018.

Now in its third year, City Nature Challenge has grown into a global competition between 65 cities on five continents.

The 2018 winner was San Francisco with 41,737 observations of 3,211 species. In the UK, three cities took part – Bristol and Bath (as a joint entry), London and Plymouth.

“Despite less than ideal weather conditions we got off to a flying start,” says Savita Willmott, chief executive of the Bristol Natural History Consortium (BNHC), which co-ordinated the Bristol and Bath challenge, “with enthusiastic volunteers, school groups, businesses and families downloading the free iNaturalist app and uploading their wildlife sightings.”

Out of the 10 European cities, Bristol and Bath came first with 9,536 observations, including 631 plants, 78 birds and 33 mammals.

Out of the global challenge, Bristol and Bath landed in 13th place, while London came 33rd and Plymouth came 54th.

“Huge thanks to everyone who got involved and sent in their observations,” continues Willmott. “It’s a great reflection of the West of England as a real centre for wildlife lovers!”

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A tawny mining bee, spotted in Bristol © Matt Postles

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