City Nature Challenge

  • City Nature Challenge started in 2016 as a competition between Los Angeles and San Francisco.
  • The CNC has grown into an international event, motivating people around the world to find and document wildlife in their own cities.
  • It was Invented by community science staff, Lila Higgins at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHM) and Alison Young and Rebecca Johnson at the California Academy of Sciences (CAS).
  • It is run by the Community Science teams at the California Academy of Sciences and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHM).
  • It’s a competition where cities are in a friendly contest with 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?
  • The first City Nature Challenge was an eight-day competition between Los Angeles and San Francisco, engaging residents and visitors in documenting nature to better understand urban biodiversity.

What is the process of the City Nature Challenge?

  • Under this initiative, participants can use the iNaturalist app (available for Android and Apple phones) to click and upload a photo of natural flora and fauna.
  • The app uses Artificial Intelligence to suggest the species name. Community members will collaborate to confirm these suggestions.
  • GPS coordinates for the observation are picked up automatically from the image data.
  • Once an observation is confirmed, it becomes available to scientists and researchers who can use this data to research different plant and animal species or determine the biodiversity in a region.

Latest News about City Nature Challenge

  • 20 April 2023:
    • Over 30 Indian cities are set to participate in the City Nature Challenge, an app-based competition that records observations of nature.
    • As per recent announcements, Delhi will take part in the Challenge for the first time in 2023.


  1. The Hindu
  2. Hindustan Times

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