Do you wonder about the type of trees blooming in your backyard forest? Or, want to know about the amazing water birds that gather at a water body in your village wetland? Or, are you are just curious about the ecology that surrounds you?
Then it is necessary for you to know about the ‘City Nature Challenge’ which is happening from April 28, 2023 to May 1, 2023 in different parts of the country, and obviously in Goa, too.
WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT
It is an event that encourages citizens to go out and document the flora and fauna found mainly in their own backyard. You can document anything, from plants to trees to birds, bees and butterflies to amphibians, reptiles to mammals. This will help us understand our biodiversity in a more scientific way.
City Nature Challenge is a global event which has been hosted by the California Academia of Sciences and Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County since 2014. This challenge is quite popular in other parts of the world, and thus in 2018, it came to India.
This year, it includes 25 cities of the country that also includes Goa. In India, Bengaluru based, The Naturalist School and Diversity India, is part of it and iNaturalist is the app where all the data will get uploaded and stored. Any entry made on these days from April 28 to May 1, will get pulled on this database of City Nature Challenge.
The process to register to is quite simple – Create an iNaturalist account and document as many observations from your neighborhood and beyond. Get your images identified, validated, and in doing so, contribute towards creating a database for your locality and the State.
LEARNING & GROWING
In Goa, the event is anchored by Mrugaya Xpeditions, a responsible travel company. Naturalist and founder-member of Goa Bird Conservation Network, Parag Rangnekar says, “Such events, like this one or GBBC (Great Bird Backyard Count) are like triggers to go out and document.”
He further said that he has requested the Goa State Biodiversity Board (GSBB) and the Biodiversity Management Committees (BMC) to be part of this as this is an excellent opportunity to go and document and also at the same time verify the data.
He is hoping to get maximum entries during these four days and over a period of years, through this documentation, it will help to know if there are any changes happening in our immediate surroundings.
Parag further states that this is an excellent medium to know more about our backyard biodiversity, especially of flora, as there is not much documentation of plants and trees.
As we are now living in challenging times where we are losing our natural habitat at an alarming rate, having such activities will help to inculcate that interest in knowing more about our environment, especially among children.
Thus, it is necessary that parents and teachers encourage children to be part of this exercise and also to be more vigilant, and in turn, be compassionate about our habitat.
For more details, check out https://www.inaturalist.org/
For queries, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org