Ever wondered what that bug crawling on your porch is? How about the flower you walk by every day? By participating in the City Nature Challenge you can answer these questions and contribute to a database of flora and fauna in your community.
The City Nature Challenge is an international biodiversity count happening in hundreds of cities across the world during the same weekend each spring. This year it starts on Friday and ends on Monday. All you have to do to start is download the iNaturalist app.
“Go around and document every living thing you can find, as many species as you can find. And that helps us catalog how many different species we have living and that are out here right now with the season,” said Patrick Kelly, the director of education at Stokes Nature Center and Wild About Utah contributor.
He said he likes using the app all throughout the year to document flora and fauna in the area. In addition to Stokes Nature Center, there are over a dozen organizations participating in this year’s challenge across the greater Wasatch region that Cache Valley is a part of.
Kelly said during previous challenges, new discoveries have been made about our area, and others.
“Some really cool things we’ve found with this international effort over the past several years is documentation of an invasive bug called a European Firebug here in Cache County,” Kelly said. “And we have discovered even new species during the city nature challenge and other areas. So Los Angeles, and a few years back discovered a new species of spider. So exciting things.”
Data can be collected from anywhere and Kelly said Stokes is encouraging participants to get out onto the River Trail in Logan Canyon.
“Starting at First Dam and going to Second Dam,” Kelly said. “And we have evidence of about 260 species along that stretch from first to second dam. And we want to try and see if we can round out at a nice even 300.”
For more information go to http://logannature.org/cnc.