iNaturalist: Battle between the Cities

Time flies when you’ve been busy and having lots of fun. This week I was able to chaperone a group of high school students on a 4- day Joshua Tree National Park camping/rock climbing trip. It was nice to be out of Los Angeles for awhile and have a reminder that there is still lots to learn and experience, but that will be next week’s post. I do not have the trip pictures yet, but prepare to hear about Joshua Trip in the next blog.

 

Praying Mantis egg sac in the Natural History Museum Native Garden

Apart from the 4-day getaway trip, I was able to attend the iNaturalist City Nature Challenge opening in the Los Angeles Natural History Museum. The City Nature Challenge is a current 4-day competition (I know, 4-day again… there seems to be something magical about 4 this week), where 16 urban cities are encouraged to explore nature and become citizen scientists. The City Nature Challenge is all in a phone app and it is really easy. One pretty much goes out and explores, takes a picture of wildlife from birds, plants, mammals, insects, etc. and uploads it onto the application under the City Nature Challenge 2017: Los Angeles project. We are in competition with other major cities like San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Miami, Salt Lake City, and New York. It has been really fun competing even within one another to see who has uploaded the most pictures, but it has been very surprising to see how many species and the amount of people that care about nature in these high urbanized areas. I considered Los Angeles a very urbanized area with very minimal nature, but with the process of this challenge I realized that I have been taking Los Angeles for granted and it has a lot more biodiversity than I thought it had.

We have about a day left in this challenge, currently in fifth place against the other cities, but the learning process has been incredible in realizing how many more things there are to see in the Los Angeles area. The little things, once again, have amazed me.

P.S. In my featured image, you can see a small hole on the side of the slug. That is actually a pneumostome or the breathing pore on the external body of a slug aka where it breathes from or it’s lung.

Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus) in the Los Angeles Natural History Museum native garden

Eccentric Sand Dollar (Dendraster excentricus) in Cabrillo Beach

 

 

 

Tania Romero
t41romero@gmail.com

I value learning and stories. There is something very magical in sharing, listening, and discovering. In love with life, birds, community building, y escuchar y hablar el idioma español.

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