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City Nature Challenge 2021

City nature challenge

The 2021 City Nature Challenge is now behind us!

The City Nature Challenge is an annual global event coordinated by the California Academy of Sciences and the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum, that was first run in 2016.

In 2021, Maroondah along with seven other Councils in Eastern Melbourne (Boroondara, Greater Dandenong, Knox, Manningham, Monash, Stonnington and Whitehorse) teamed up with the Field Naturalists Club of Victoria and the Entomological Society of Victoria, to compete against 419 cities from 44 countries under the collaborative banner ‘Melbourne - Eastern Metropolitan area’.

During the Challenge’s recently completed four-day observation period (30 April to 3 May 2021), citizens in all eight municipalities were encouraged to find, photograph and document (on the iNaturalist online platform) the native fauna and flora that lives and grows in our neighbourhoods.

Given that this was the first time that Melbourne has been represented in the global Challenge, the results were astounding!

Overall global Challenge figures were:

  • 1,270,767 observations
  • 45,300+ species
  • 52,777 observers
  • 12,635+ identifiers

The Melbourne -Eastern Metropolitan Area finished with:

  • 7,629 observations (41st overall out of 419 cities)
  • 1,106 species (55th overall)
  • 323 observers (41st overall
  • 328 identifiers (47th overall)

Maroondah finished with:

  • 2,652 observations
  • 570 species
  • 80 observers
  • 185 identifiers

This represents the largest ‘bioblitz’ event ever held in Melbourne.

Although the 2021 City Nature Challenge is done and dusted, you can still keep recording your observations of nature on the iNaturalist platform, and in doing so keep adding to the database of records for Maroondah.

Following on from the success of the City Nature Challenge, Maroondah is competing in the 2021 Great Southern BioBlitz from 22 to 25 October. 

All observations made on iNaturalist within Maroondah at any time, can be found in the iNaturalist project “Nature in Maroondah”.

If you want to learn how to download and use the iNaturalist app and/or website, the two online sessions featuring ecologist Dr Luis Mata that were held in March and April were recorded and can be viewed online:

iNaturalist Training Session 1

Originally held Tuesday 23 March, 2021

Recording can be viewed here

iNaturalist Training Session 2

Originally held Tuesday 20 April, 2021

Recording can be viewed here

There are also online tutorials available.

Identifying your observations

When you upload your observations, you can make an identification of each one to the extent of your knowledge. Once uploaded, iNaturalists from everywhere can see them, and provide their own knowledge to further refine, or confirm, the identifications. So, you may only know what you have observed as a ‘butterfly’ or ‘plant’, but once uploaded it is very likely someone will be able to tell you the full species name of what you saw.


Further information

To learn more about the City Nature Challenge, please visit the City Nature Challenge website

Interested in hearing about future activities?

Maroondah has yet to decide if it will participate in the 2022 City Nature Challenge, or similar citizen science events in the future.

If you are interested in being informed of any similar activities being planned, please register your interest below:

Click here to view form.

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