Wednesday, June 12, 2024

There’s a free virtual nature challenge happening across Greater Victoria this week


Are you ready to get outside and explore, Victoria?

This week, the CRD and partners are hosting the Greater Victoria arm of the global City Nature Challenge—the perfect opportunity to hunt for wild plants, animals and fungi within the capital region and record them using iNaturalist.

Citizens from over 400 cities around the world are participating in this international bioblitz to celebrate urban nature. Help showcase Greater Victoria’s amazing biodiversity to the rest of the world.

From April 29th to May 2nd, nature lovers across the region will have the chance to spot pollinating insects, migrating birds, native wildflowers, and towering trees while enjoying neighbourhood parks, beaches and more!

Not only does getting outside and observing the natural world surrounding us boost mental health and well-being, it’s also a key step in conserving nature for future generations.

Biodiversity supports clean air and water, food security, recreational and cultural opportunities, and is key to the high quality of life we enjoy in the region.

It’s as simple as a few easy steps, and you’ll be joining a large community of local nature buffs who are helping to inventory and celebrate the capital region’s amazing flora and fauna – plus you can win some incredible prizes while you’re at it!

Here’s how to join the challenge:

  1. Create an account using the free iNaturalist app (AppStore or Google Play) or website
  2. Head online to join the Greater Victoria City Nature Challenge project for a chance to win prizes and receive project updates
  3. Join the hunt! Search for local nature in your backyard, neighbourhood, or favourite park or beach between April 29th and May 2nd. Observations of wild native plants, animals, fungi, insects, tracks, or even scat are all welcome.
  4. Use a digital camera or smart phone to capture your sightings, and upload to iNaturalist
  5. Identify your findings as best you can and have people from the iNaturalist community help confirm your identifications

What you could win:

By joining the CRD’s Greater Victoria City Nature Challenge project, you’ll have the chance to win one of three prizes, including a smartphone macro lens to take close-up photos of tiny creatures.

(Capital Regional District)

Of all the provinces, BC has the most biodiversity in Canada. Insect species alone number between 50,000 and 70,000. Other species in BC include (at least) 143 mammals, 454 birds, 20 amphibians, 19 reptiles, 2,850 vascular plants, 1,600 lichens, 522 attached algae, and over 10,000 fungi.

The great abundance of life found in many of BC’s marine areas rivals the biodiversity of tropical rain forests. Around 7,000 marine species have been identified in the region off the coast of BC, and at least as many unidentified species are believed to exist.

CRD’s Greater Victoria City Nature Challenge

    • When: Friday, April 29th to Monday, May 2nd
    • Where: All around the capital region, even your very own backyard!
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