Press Release - from Western Cape Government

Minister encourages citizens to help put Cape Town’s unique fauna and flora on the global map.
Cape Town to take part in 2019 City Nature Challenge
Starting from 26-29 April 2019, cities around the world will be competing to see who can make the most observations of nature and find the most species, using an app to document their findings in the 2019 City Nature Challenge.
The City Nature Challenge, “bioblitz-style” competition, was designed by staff at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (Lila Higgins) and California Academy of Sciences (Alison Young). The Challenge is an international event where cities are in a contest against each other to see who can make the most observations of nature, who can find the most species, and who can engage the most people.
MEC Anton Bredell for Western Cape Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, “This is a fantastic initiative and opportunity for people to get to know their urban biodiversity. I want to encourage people across the City to take part. Cape Town is one of three cities on the African continent taking part – let’s make our mark and document as much as we can!”

The competition consists of two parts, documenting of plants, flowers and animals will take from 26-29 April 2019, after which a few days are needed to identify what has been found. The winning cities will be announced on 6 May 2019.
As the Mother City is located in one of the most biodiverse areas in the world, the City of Cape Town (which manages 20 nature reserves and various nature areas) will be open to anyone interested in recording their observations of plant and animal life over these four days.

Participants may record any plant, animal, fungi, slime mould or any other evidence of life (scat, fur, tracks, shells, carcasses) found in Cape Town and should not forget to record the location of their findings.
Marlene Laros, Director for Biodiversity and Coastal Management at the Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning says, “The City of Cape Town is seen as the most biodiverse City in the world with more than 3 350 plant species alone. Ongoing conservation depends on informed and involved citizens who celebrate these assets. Citizen science platforms like iNaturalist make this possible. The City Nature challenge presents an excellent opportunity to explore the City.”
Karen Shippey, Chief Director for Environmental Sustainability at the Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning says: “It’s amazing how technology bridges the gap, and in this case, allows anyone to be a biologist for a day by allowing them to make their mark (or take a snap) and document the fauna and flora in our urban surroundings. These discoveries can start in your own garden. This is a wonderful way to get your kids to actually “see” the nature which is all around us. Don’t be afraid to look up information with your child about an insect or plant you notice- that’s how we all learn”.
For more information visit or or

iNaturalist is available for download from the AppStore or Google Play.

Posted on 25 April, 2019 05:52 by tonyrebelo tonyrebelo


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