City Nature Challenge 2019: Cape Town's Journal

Journal archives for May 2019

01 May, 2019

UPDATE: please finish uploading and help us ID ...

We have totally underestimated the backlog of observations. Please continue uploading and get them done soonest. Now is not the time to give up: we are almost there.
So we will continue uploading today, and start the serious identification parties tomorrow afternoon.

The Kirstenbosch Research Centre will be open this holiday if you want to upload your last few data. Please come join us. (please RSVP @gigilaidler in advance if you want to use facilities on Saturday or Sunday)

For those interested, here is a breakdown by group:

Category No. of observations (No. of taxa) No. of observers
Birds 2454 (175) 390
Amphibians 82 (14) 57
Reptiles 397 (37) 190
Mammals 390 (52) 196
Fish 234 (40) 46
Molluscs 902 (163) 170
Arachnids 266 (63) 200
Insects 1900 (279) 409
Plants 18 665 (2 225) 808
Fungi 678 (115) 197
Protozoans 8 (2) 4

Unknown 12 230 observations still to process to one of the above: Please help!

You can start here: Just taking it to family or genus will be a very big help!

Posted on 01 May, 2019 06:06 by tonyrebelo tonyrebelo | 13 comments | Leave a comment

06 May, 2019


The Challenge is over. The results will be made known at our local time at around midnight.

If you are wandering around dazed and wondering what you are going to do with the rest of your life, then dont worry, there is still lots to be done. iNaturalist is still there for uploading, identifying and connecting with your new and old biodiversity friends.

While waiting (and even later), why not let us hear some of your insights, highlights and problems. How did you enjoy the Challenge? What would you like included? Did anyone go the extra mile for you?

Please tell us about your experiences on the Challenge!

Posted on 06 May, 2019 17:08 by tonyrebelo tonyrebelo | 4 comments | Leave a comment

07 May, 2019

Congratulations: Cape Town

Congratulations CAPE TOWN !!

Winner in categories MOST OBSERVATIONS and MOST SPECIES in the international City Nature Challenge organized by the Citizen/Community Science Teams at the California Academy of Sciences and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles Country.

Well done to everyone who participated! Those who took part! Those who organized events!. Those who planned and arranged everything! Those who helped with identifications. Those that ran courses and workshops. An especial thanks to the City of Cape Town’s Biodiversity Management Branch, Environmental Management Department who drove the entire show, and brought the entire City on board. To the Cape Town groups of the Custodians of Rare and Endangered Wildflowers (CREW) and the Wildlife and Environmental Society of South Africa (WESSA) Friends Groups, who - with reserve managers and staff - organized events in our reserves, and outside, and who targeted species in the worst possible time of the year for recording species and went out and made it all happen! And a special mention to Scouts South Africa for contributing almost 10% of our observations and the merpeople whose spectacular marine observations and identifications gave us the cutting edge.
Well done! Give ourselves a great pat on our backs! We did it.

There will be an official thank you from the organizers for those who contributed the most. We did not expect this and have not budgeted for it, so it will be a discreet affair. But we will make plans with social media to share the event with everyone.

And yes, we will be back. But we will be strongly motivating to be allowed to compete in our spring when we can really do justice to our biodiversity in the Mother City!

Posted on 07 May, 2019 05:28 by tonyrebelo tonyrebelo | 83 comments | Leave a comment

A last request ...

You know very well it wont be the last, but please - we need your help now!

As you go through the mopping up of our City Nature Challenge observations
these ones still need identification
these ones still need identification down to species level
these ones still need confirmation of their species level IDs

Please look out for any outstanding observations that can be used for promotion of the event or our site, or that just need to be acknowledged and shared.
If you see any, then please add them to the project
(if you have not yet joined the project, you will need to in order to help us)
and click on the fave star (just below the map on the observation).

The winner for the City Nature Challenge 2019: Cape Town will be the observation with the most faves, or in the event of a draw, other additional criteria as outlined in the Nominations project. There will be two categories and they will be different observations:
• Observation of the City Nature Challenge 2019: Cape Town will be based on all categories.
• Photograph of the City Nature Challenge 2019: Cape Town will be confined to the categories "image" and "composition" and shall be in addition to the Observation of the City Nature Challenge 2019: Cape Town .

You can see the most faved nominations for the event here:
Nominations for observation of the City Nature Challenge 2019: Cape Town
and the most faved for the event here:
Faves from the City Nature Challenge 2019: Cape Town

A decision will be made on or round about 19 May - no correspondence on the decision will be entertained.

(Note that not all observations for winner of the City Nature Challenge will be eligible for Observation of the Month for April, because that is determined by date of posting and not date of observation: so some observations will be part of the Observation of the Month for May competition). This is strictly for the event - those observed during the challenge whenever posted

Posted on 07 May, 2019 08:49 by tonyrebelo tonyrebelo | 4 comments | Leave a comment

21 May, 2019

Observation of the City Nature Challenge 2019: Cape Town

The winning observation of the CNC2019 for Cape Town is:

Panthera pardus ssp. pardus (African Leopard)
by @evan81 seen at Western Cape, ZA (Obscured) on Apr 29, 2019 · 8:42 PM SAST (yes: he kept us waiting!)

African Leopard

Very well done!

Runners up are:

Aonyx capensis ssp. capensis (Cape Clawless Otter)
by @gigilaidler seen at Western Cape, ZA(Obscured) on Apr 28, 2019 · 6:32 PM SAST

Cape Clawless Otter


Aphis nerii (Milkweed Aphid)
by @magrietb seen at Helderberg Rural, Sir Lowry's Pass on Apr 27, 2019 · 1:18 PM SAST

Milkweed Aphid

Honorable mentions:

Naja nivea (Cape Cobra)
by @willemvzyl seen at Bloubergstrand on Apr 26, 2019 · 8:40 AM SAST

Cape Cobra


Homopus areolatus (Parrot-beaked Tortoise)
by @christo9 seen at Brackenfell on Apr 27, 2019 · 10:24 AM SAST

Parrot-beaked Tortoise

As per votes at 12:00 21 May 2019 SAST
Nominations can be viewed here: Nominations for City Nature Challenge 2019: Cape Town

Posted on 21 May, 2019 10:30 by tonyrebelo tonyrebelo | 1 comment | Leave a comment

What did the City Nature Challenge Achieve?

What did the City Nature Challenge 2019: Cape Town Achieve?

Please forward your thoughts below. I will summarize the more quantifiable hard data here. But personal and emotive achievements are also cool.

New Taxa

None known - yet.

New Records

First ever record of the Oyster Bay Cypress-Pine as an invasive in Africa!

Indigenous (on iNat):
First record of the Monster Gnashing Cricket on iNat
First record of the Tropical Mexican Clover as an invasive in Cape Town!

New populations of threatened species

Critically Endangered
Fascicled Autumnaster -

New Records for iNaturalist in Cape Town

(Compared to the last 10 years. Subject to verification - this is also a priority list for checking and will be amended from time to time! Note that the ID image tool suggested North American species, and these are probably still to be checked: any cases will be removed below when discovered.)

1 White Stork Ciconia ciconia (10)
2 African Stonechat Saxicola torquatus (8)
3 Red-billed Oxpecker Buphagus erythrorhynchus (2)
4 Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus (2)
1 Domestic Cattle Bos taurus (4)
2 Banana Pipistrelle Neoromicia nana (3)
3 Long-tailed Shrews Tribe Soricini (2)
1 Purcell's Ghost Frog Heleophryne purcelli (2)
2 Green Sea Turtle Chelonia mydas

1 Nosestripe Klipfish Muraenoclinus dorsalis (3)
2 Amur Carp Cyprinus rubrofuscus (3)
3 Nile Tilapia Oreochromis niloticus (3)
4 Fivebar Flagtail Kuhlia mugil (2)
5 Rainbow Trout Oncorhynchus mykiss (2)
6 Silver Trevally Pseudocaranx dentex (2)
7 Arabian Monocle Bream Scolopsis ghanam (2)

1 Vegetable Weevil Listroderes costirostris (2)
2 Genus Platychelus (2)
3 Genus Notiophygus (2)
1 Torynesis hawequas (4)
2 Silk Moths Family Bombycidae
3 Greater Wax Moth Galleria mellonella
4 African Migrant Catopsilia florella
5 Mountain Sandman Spialia spio
6 Mediterranean Brocade Spodoptera littoralis
7 Scopula lactaria
8 Genus Mentaxya
9 Coastal Brown-tail Moth Orvasca semifusca
10 Chiasmia turbulentata
11 Larentia diplocampa

1 Stridulating Slant-faced Grasshoppers Subfamily Gomphocerinae (6)
2 Scantius forsteri (3)
3 Cape Carpenter Bee Xylocopa capensis (3)
4 Oxycarenus annulipes (3)
1 Tunnel Spiders Family Segestriidae (2)
2 Long-bodied Cellar Spider Pholcus phalangioides (2)
3 West Coast Button Spider Latrodectus indistinctus (2)
4 Brown House Spider Steatoda capensis (2)
5 Sheetweb Spiders Family Stiphidiidae (2)
6 Nurseryweb Spider Dolomedes minor (2)
7 Foliage-webbing Spiders Genus Phryganoporus (2)
8 Gallieniellid Spiders Family Gallieniellidae (2)
9 Hippasa australis (2)

1 Portuguese Millipede Ommatoiulus moreleti (13)
2 Tooth Barnacle Chthamalus dentatus (12)
3 Tubulipora pulcherrima (7)
4 Biemna anisotoxa (6)
5 Chaperiopsis multifida (6)
6 Actinia mandelae (4)
7 Sargassum Sea Mat Jellyella tuberculata (4)
8 Euphrosine capensis (3)
9 Botryllus gregalis (3)
10 Southern African Sea Nettle Chrysaora africana (3)
11 Common Bluebottle Physalia utriculus (3)

1 Goat Eye Limpet Cymbula oculus (37)
2 Talochlamys multistriata (10)
3 Giraffe-Spot Nudibranch Ancula sp-a (6)
4 Aulacomya ater (4)
5 Gibbula zonata (4)
1 Common Greenshield Lichen Flavoparmelia caperata (7)
2 Common Ink Cap Coprinopsis atramentaria (2)
3 Smokey-eyed Boulder Lichen Porpidia albocaerulescens (2)
4 Hollyhock Rust Puccinia malvacearum (2)
5 Genus Laschia (2)
6 Tubaria confragosa (2)

Improvements to Nature Reserve data

Based on published reserve lists (other data undoubtedly exist). All species, incl. alien invasive.

Reserve - New Total Species - % increase
Bothasig 108 220%
Durbanville 135 205%
Zandvlei 170 175%
Uitkamp 96 175%
Table Bay 329 158%
Rondevlei 400 155%
Helderberg 704 143%
Tygerberg 396 139%
Edith Stevens 30 136%
Steenbras 1029 136%
Bracken 134 128%
Harmony Flats 129 122%
Botterblom 104 116%
Blaauwberg 609 113%
Wolfgat (not visited)

Ardern Arboretum 88 244%
Tokai Arboretum 213 201%
Kirstenbosch NBG 1166 125%

Jack Miller Park 155 187%
Strandfontein Sewerage Works 173 180%
Meadowridge Commonnage 144 132%
Constantia Green Belts 516 123%
Kenilworth 444 117%
Rondebosch Commonage 250 123%

(Table Mountain NP) 3688 116%
Signal Hill 519 121%
Silvermine 1161 112%
Tokai Park 1025 110%
Tokai Park Lower 592 105%


Any ideas for other?

Posted on 21 May, 2019 11:49 by tonyrebelo tonyrebelo | 2 comments | Leave a comment