Prizes up for grabs in city nature challenge

To participate, simply upload your findings on the iNaturalist app and experts will identify them. Pictured is Maritha Louw at Rondebosch Common.

Capetonians have a chance to become citizen scientists by taking part in the City Nature Challenge and recording local wildlife.

Cape Town is competing with other cities around the world to record the most observations of local plant and animal species.

“Capetonians contributed over 71 000 observations during the 2021 challenge, achieving the most observations internationally. Cape Town participants were able to record an impressive 4 779 species last year. The Mother City has been the winner of at least two categories for the past few years, a title we are extremely keen to defend,” said deputy mayor Eddie Andrews.

From Friday April 29 to Monday May 2, participants can take pictures of plants, animals and fungi and upload them to the iNaturalist app.

From Friday April 29 to Sunday May 8, uploading continues and also identification of these photos.

“I want residents to use this upcoming City Nature Challenge as an opportunity to get out to one of the reserves, or even just to take a walk in their neighbourhood. There is so much life to capture, plants and animals we would not have noticed otherwise, and the best part is, we get to make some memories while exploring new places,” said Mr Andrews.

Participants who make the most observations or capture the most species will win prizes, including accommodation from CapeNature and SANParks. Spot prizes will also be available for anyone who participates.

Some of the species found during Cape Town’s autumn season include Cape honeysuckle, the Bietou bush flower, the red-eyed dove, the southern double-collared sunbird, the Cape autumn widow butterfly, the house mouse, the grey squirrel, the marbled leaf-toed gecko, the Cape rain spider and the white Italian snail

Guided tours at coastal and inland protected areas across the city have been arranged and entry is free on the four days. Visit capetown.gov.za for a list of all of the City’s reserves and details about their location.

Entry to Cape Point will be free to registered City Nature Challenge participants.

During the challenge there will be walks at Tokai Park, on Friday night April 29; Kenilworth Racecourse Conservation Area, on Friday and Saturday April 29 and 30; Die Oog, Meadowridge, on Sunday May 1; Meadowridge Conservation Area, on Sunday May 1; the lower area of Hout Bay River, on Monday May 2; Table Mountain National Park, on Friday and Saturday April 29 and 30; Tygerberg Nature Reserve, on Friday night April 29; and Table Bay Nature Reserve, on Saturday April 30.

Visit inaturalist.org for more information.