What is the City Nature Challenge?

March and April 2021 It’s a global community science challenge! Team Nature for All will learn about LA County wildlife and green spaces, get comfortable with the iNaturalist app, and learn from free workshops and special guests so you are ready for…

April 30 to May 3, 2021 It’s on! Over the 4-day City Nature Challenge, we and 350+ cities worldwide will be documenting nature in our cities, from urban streets to wild places. Our local organizer is the LA County Natural History Museum, and our boundary of observation is all of Los Angeles County. Thousands of people and organizations will be uploading photos of bugs, birds, plants, mushrooms, sea creatures and more to iNaturalist! Then…

MAY 4: Celebration event! Share your contributions as community scientists. Stay tuned for details!

Q: Why Do I join Team Nature for All AND the LA County City Nature Challenge Projects?

Team Nature for All is a year-round, LA County focused community science project. As part of the team your discoveries will contribute to science all year!

The City Nature Challenge takes place April 30 – May 3. LA County wildlife needs community scientists like you to represent them in this international event!

Joining both iNaturalist projects makes each photo you upload pack a bigger punch for community science!

Q: What do I take pictures of?

Any wildlife you find in LA County – birds, bugs, mammals, invertebrates, amphibians, plants, etc! Evidence of life is also welcome. That means feathers, seeds, tracks, scat, shells, skeletons, snake and lizard sheds, etc. Bonus – you don’t have to just take photos! Recordings and notes can be uploaded too. 

Q: Do I need to know a lot about wildlife to participate?

Nope! A photo labeled “plant”, “bird”, “animal”, etc is great. If you don’t know what it is, someone on the iNaturalist community does!

Q: Do I need to go into the mountains/travel into the wilderness to participate?

Taking photos during your work break, daily walk, from your garden, etc brings awesome discoveries and contributes to the data for LA County wildlife! So do photos from our local mountains and trails. All contributions are awesome!

Q: Do my photos have to be good? What do I use to take photos? 

A clear photo helps with identification of the species, but otherwise? We’re taking photos for data, not the next NatGeo cover! A cell phone camera is perfectly fine!

Q: All I’m finding are crows, squirrels, ants and dandelions. Can they really be uploaded?

YES and please! When we say LA County wildlife we mean ALL wildlife! Even the spider in your bathroom or the dandelion growing from your sidewalk. 

Q: I don’t know if what I’m taking a photo of is wild or not. Or I found a really cool plant in a garden. Does it still count?

Yes! While we’re focusing on wildlife, captive and cultivated (pets/livestock and garden plants) are certainly welcome. 

Q: How does participating in the City Nature Challenge help wildlife? What is community science?

Every observation (upload) to iNaturalist contributes to a set of data that helps researchers and scientists understand and protect wildlife for LA County. More uploads equals more complete the data! 

Community science on iNaturalist works because many people from the community are out there, gathering data (uploads of photos), covering more ground and times of day and different environments than any single team of scientists can do alone. 

Q: How does iNaturalist work?

Upload your photo and add it to the LA Nature for All community science project > image recognition technology helps ID the species (or just label it “plant” “bird” “insect” etc) > the iNaturalist community helps cement the ID.

Q: What is an iNaturalist project?

A collection of uploads from different people focused on a specific species, taxa, area, etc. For Team Nature for All we’re documenting all species within the LA County area.

Ready to join Team Nature for All? Represent LA County Wildlife to the world in the City Nature Challenge, help our local wildlife AND celebrate with an awesome team? Join our project on iNaturalist today by clicking here!

More questions? Send them over using the form below!