Each year, Pōneke competes against over 400 cities worldwide, plus five around Aotearoa, to record as many species as possible in the iNaturalist City Nature Challenge.
Last year there were 7,608 observations taken in Wellington, up from 1,537 the previous (and first) year – so we’re not beating around the bush when we say we want to improve on those numbers this year, says Wellington City Council’s Campaign Lead Peta McMillan.
“The City Nature Challenge is a fun, friendly competition that encourages people to discover and document the biodiversity of our urban spaces – and the collated data will go towards protecting and learning more about our local species for the future.
“Tens of thousands of people from hundreds of cities around the world will be competing to see which one can log the most nature observations on iNaturalist over the four-day period.
“We are getting behind the challenge more than ever this year by collaborating with our regional friends and putting on more events around Te Whanganui-a-Tara, as we aim to take the New Zealand title by working better together,” adds Peta.
“We challenge Wellingtonians to take up to five photos a day over the four-day event, even just in your garden, and we’ll be on top of the world.”
A number of species were recorded for the first time in the capital during last year’s challenge including Lophunrella caespitosa (a red alga found only in New Zealand), moss Pseudotaxiphyllum falcifolium (a first recorded south of Palmerston North), and the bird dropping spider (Celaenia olivacea).