The City Nature Challenge is an annual competition between cities all over the world to see how many wild species their citizens can spot over the space of four days.

The City Nature Challenge began in 2016 as a competition between San Francisco Bay and Los Angeles County - by 2018 the CNC had gone international!

2021 looks set to be the biggest year ever with a whopping 440 cities signed up to take part in the challenge including 14 city areas from the UK! We’ll be comparing the wildlife of Birmingham and the Black Country with worldwide cities from Cape Town to Canberra, Barcelona to Buenos Aires. We’ll also be comparing our wildlife with that of our namesake Birmingham, Alabama!

Last year ‘Birmingham and the Black Country’ took part in the challenge for the first time, and over the course of the four days we managed to record over 16,000 records of 1,300 different species - with highlights including weasels, buzzards, green-winged orchids and some insect species which had never been recorded here before!

This result meant that we managed to spot more wildlife in Birmingham and the Black Country than any other European city!

As well as being a fun activity that gets us to notice and learn more about our urban wildlife, the City Nature Challenge generates useful species information that helps organisations, such as EcoRecord and the Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country, to protect wildlife and to target their nature conservation activities. The species information that we gather can also help to tell us about the impact of climate change on our area, including highlighting changes in the distribution and range of different species.

HOW CAN I TAKE PART?

Any records of wildlife spotted in Birmingham and the Black Country from Friday 30th April to Monday 3rd May will help towards our total and move us up the live global leader board.

The easiest way to make your records count is to use the free iNaturalist app or website. Simply take a photo of a wild plant or animal and the app's inbuilt software will help you to identify it!

There's some more information and ideas on ways to take part here: https://www.bbcwildlife.org.uk/CityNatureChallenge

The results are announced on 10th May.

The records are collated in the iNaturalist Recording System and the leader board is updated in real time!
Cities are ranked according to:
• Number of Observations
• Number of Species
• Number of Observers

If you have any questions about the Birmingham and Black Country City Nature Challenge please drop us an email: [email protected]