Nearly 800 observers took part in this year’s City Nature Challenge spanning King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties, including Everett, Seattle, Bellevue, Tacoma, Snohomish and any place in between. From April 28 through May 1, community scientists submitted 10,057 nature observations and identified 1,437 species, showing the world the incredible biodiversity in the region’s home turf. That’s the region’s all-time record.
“This year we had more observers participate, more observations made and more species identified in the Seattle-Tacoma area than we have since our region joined the City Nature Challenge in 2017,” said Zach Hawn, conservation engagement coordinator at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. “This data is incredibly important, helps inform habitat management and contributes to research projects.”
Some of the sightings reported in this area were relatively rare. There were 98 observations of 28 threatened or endangered species, including Oregon forest snail, western toad, small flower wake robin, mountain goat and orca. The most observed species included Pacific trillium, salmonberry and western sword fern.
Globally, 66,394 people participated in the challenge across 482 cities. Some of the most rare and endangered species identified world-wide included short-legged horned toad, elongated tortoise and a species of orchid endemic to Bolivia.
“We are excited and energized by so many community scientists participating in the 2023 City Nature Challenge,” said Katie Remine, Living Northwest Conservation Manager at Woodland Park Zoo. “The City Nature Challenge is a magnificent example of how community members can advance conservation.”
To view all of the observations from the Seattle-Tacoma metropolitan area this year, visit https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/city-nature-challenge-2023-seattle-tacoma-metropolitan-area
What is the City Nature Challenge?
City Nature Challenge is a global community science challenge which encourages people to find, identify and record all living things within an area in a set amount of time. City Nature Challenge is organized on a global scale by the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and the California Academy of Sciences. Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, and Woodland Park Zoo partner to promote the challenge in the Seattle-Tacoma metropolitan area, supporting and coaching the community in how to participate in the challenge, advance science, and discover the nature and wildlife around them. The local planning committee also includes Seattle Parks and Recreation, Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife and Green Tukwila/City of Tukwila.
Become a community scientist any day of the week. Learn more at www.pdza.org/discover/citizen-science/ or zoo.org/community science.
Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium is open Mon.-Fri. from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sat. and Sun. from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Northwest Trek Wildlife Park is open Mon.-Fri. from 9:30 a.m.- 4 p.m. and Sat. and Sun. from 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Woodland Park Zoo is open daily from 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m.