Following on from the post-City Nature Challenge: Background & First Australian Cities, this post covers the finer details of the City Nature Challenge and how to get involved with the City Nature Challenge 2022: Greater Adelaide event project.
I'm assuming here you are familiar with iNaturalist and have contributed observations already. However, if you are not I recommend checking out the iNaturalist Help page and the How to Post Observations page.
Step 1: Join the City Nature Challenge 2022: Greater Adelaide event project and follow the associated Facebook page. This will ensure you receive any project news and updates. During the event, you'll be able to see a summary of the observations, species and contributors involved and follow the progress.
That's it. You are now prepared to contribute to the City Nature Challenge 2022.
The City Nature Challenge takes place in two parts
The Observation Period Friday, April 29th through to Monday, May 2nd inclusive. Any observations uploaded to iNaturalist from within the Greater Adelaide project area will automatically be included in the City Nature Challenge. This is the time to get outdoors and see what you can find. Plan a visit to a conservation area, your local park, a beach or reef, and even your backyard. Use your phone or camera to record an organism and upload it to iNaturalist.
Aim to take sufficient photos of each organism to allow as refined identification as possible. Some Plants and Birds may only require a single photo, but many Invertebrates will require photos from multiple angles. The ability to get the identification down to species will be important in maximising the number of species recorded during the observation period.
Don't feel obliged to identify an organism to species at this stage, unless you already know it. Identifying your observation as Plant or Animal is sufficient and allows you more time to make observations. Each upload will count toward the total observations for the event project.
The Identification Period Tuesday, May 3rd to Sunday May 8th inclusive. This time is provided for identifying the observations. . Use this time to research and add identifications to your observations and help out others. The more refined the identifications, the higher the species count will be for the event project.
Do consider during this period that iNaturalist observations are synced with the Atlas of Living Australia and as such are important records. As always, ensure you can adequately ID a species before adding an agreeing ID.
Typically events will bring a flood of new users who may not have had previous experience with the platform. Do consider offering some guidance if observations are inappropriate or uploaded incorrectly. This may help to ensure some of these users continue to contribute observations to iNaturalist beyond the challenge period.
The challenge ends at midnight May 8th. Results are released on May 9th.
Additional Challenge Info
Members of the "City Nature Challenge: Greater Adelaide" project do not automatically count as participants in the challenge unless they upload an observation during the Observation Period. Any user uploading during the Observation Period is considered a participant in the challenge, even if they are not a member of the associated city project.
Observations taken during the Observation Period can be uploaded after the observation period and before the challenge ends. But do consider that time is needed for identification, so the sooner the observations can be uploaded, the better.
"Casual" observations of captive and cultivated organisms count toward the challenge totals. However as these do not sync with the Atlas of Living Australia, the value of these observations is limited. Avoid observations of garden plants, street trees, etc. if they are known to be planted. If you do include them, please remember to mark them as Casual. Do include garden plants that have sprouted on their own, especially if they are introduced species.
All identifications of observations taken during the Observation Period must occur before the challenge ends at midnight on May 8th. These observations can be identified after this date, but the ID will not count toward the challenge results.
As the challenge starts at 00:00 on April 29th, different cities will begin and end the challenge at different times. The small-time difference between Australian cities in the challenge won't make a lot of difference, but some cities around the globe may start/finish many hours before/after South Australia. Hence they may look like they are far ahead or behind in their number of observations.
If heading out with multiple people, avoid uploading the same individual organism as others (unless is it particularly rare and you'd like it on your species list). Multiple observations of the same species at different locations is suitable as it helps to show the extent of a local population. Although it adds to the observations total, it is not recommended to try to record every single duck at the pond!
To be 'counted' as a species in the challenge, only one ID to species level is required. Reaching "Research Grade" is not required, however for the sake of producing quality records, Research Grade is preferred either during or after the challenge.
Observations of species on the IUCN Red List (i.e. threatened/endangered/etc.) will have their location automatically obscured by iNat. This scatters the location to somewhere within a roughly 20km x 20km square. If making observations near the boundary of the "City Nature Challenge 2022: Greater Adelaide" project, do consider that these might be scattered outside the project boundaries, and may not count toward the totals.
I'm assuming here that the number of species recorded during the challenge will be calculated in the usual manner, that is using the "leaf count"' method. The more refined an ID, the more likely it is to count as an additional species. Do consider taking multiple photos of any species that may be difficult to identify, i.e. most invertebrates. Doing so will help to get the ID to Family, Genus, or ideally (where possible) species.
In the next post before the challenge begins, I'll provide a list of some of the most biodiverse places within the Greater Adelaide region, each of which is worth visiting.