City Nature Challenge 2021 – results so far, keep submitting your observations!

4 May 2021

People all across the Brighton & Eastern Downs have helped us learn more about the flora and fauna of our region in both urban and rural areas.

The wildlife records that you have helped collect will be a valuable piece of the puzzle as we try to better understand and support our local wildlife.

Bee on dandelion

Bee on dandelion by Sarah Dobson

So far, we’ve had over 4,600 observations of 863 species made by 131 citizen scientists across the Brighton & Eastern Downs region, and the numbers are still going up! We’ve more than doubled the number of observations we had last year already, which is a fantastic result. Anyone who made observations over the weekend can still submit them up until May 9th so get uploading now to make sure all your observations count. You can see a full list of our results so far on our iNaturalist project page.

So far, our most observed species is Ground Ivy (actually a member of the deadnettle family), also commonly known as Ale Gill. This might be because the fragrant leaves made it a common way of bittering beer until Hops became more popular!

Ground Ivy

Ground Ivy (or ‘Ale Gill’) by Anne Burgess

The City Nature Challenge is not over yet as we now move into data checking phase, verifying the records that have been made across the weekend.

To make all the photos uploaded count towards conservation efforts here in the UK, we need your help identifying the species people have been finding. If you would like to take part you can join us and other UK City Nature Challenge participants across social media by following the hashtag #DataBlitz or put your identification questions and queries to wildlife experts on one of the hourly live streams on the UK BioBlitz Facebook page – all happening on Thursday 6th May between 1pm – 6pm.

The UK Natural History Consortium are also really interested to hear from people who took part in City Nature Challenge this year. They are collecting feedback via a short survey and anyone taking part will be entered into a competition to win a phone camera lens adapter kit, to help you take even better wildlife photos in the future!

Over 400 city regions around the world have taken part in the City Nature Challenge this year, helping to create over a million local records of wildlife sightings across the globe. Some of our favourites so far from our region include:

The sap-sucking slug Elysia Viridis (also known as the solar-powered sea slug) found in a rockpool:

A sap-sucking slug (elysia viridis) photographed maureen-berg

Sap-sucking slug (Elysia Viridis) by Maureen Berg

The hairy-footed flower bee (or is it a digger bee? We’ll find out this week!):

Is this a hair-footed flower bee visiting nectar?

Hairy-footed flower bee (?) by Sarah Dobson

And the hairy porcelain crab:

Hairy porcelain crab

Hairy porcelain crab by Maureen Berg

Thanks again to everyone who has participated so far and do join us for some data blitzing this week! If you have enjoyed observing and identifying nature and would like to get more involved, then have a look at the Sussex Biodiversity Records Centre – a fantastic resource containing biodiversity data from across Sussex, plus lots of helpful information about how to get involved in recording in your local area.

by The Living Coast

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