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Love exploring nature? Join the Greater Victoria City Nature Challenge today!

By learning about biodiversity, we better understand how to protect nature for future generations
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From April 28 to May 1, the Capital Regional District and partners host the Greater Victoria arm of the global City Nature Challenge – an opportunity to join a large community of local nature buffs who are helping to inventory and celebrate the capital region’s amazing flora and fauna.

Home to one of Canada’s biodiversity hotspots, the capital region is bursting with an incredible diversity of plants and wildlife, from urban streams and dynamic shorelines to towering evergreens and Garry oak meadows blooming with native wildflowers.

These habitats are home to pollinating insects, migrating birds, salmon and other wildlife – a tapestry of flora and fauna that supports clean air and water, food security, recreational and cultural opportunities.

Essential to the high quality of life we enjoy in the region, this biodiversity offers us ample opportunity to boost mental health and well-being as we get outside and observe the natural world surrounding us. Beyond our immediate experience, by learning about biodiversity, we better understand how to protect nature for future generations.

From April 28 to May 1, the Capital Regional District and partners are hosting the Greater Victoria arm of the global City Nature Challenge – an opportunity to join a large community of local nature buffs who are helping to inventory and celebrate the capital region’s amazing flora and fauna. Information collected during the challenge is used in real science! Scientists and decision makers use the observations to document rare species, track invasive species, identify hotspots for wildlife, and more.

Citizens from over 400 cities around the world are participating in this international bioblitz to celebrate urban nature. Help showcase Greater Victoria’s amazing biodiversity to the rest of the world. Even better? You can win some incredible prizes while you’re at it!

Simple to participate, the City Nature Challenge offers participants the chance to hunt for wild plants, animals and fungi within the capital region and record them using the free iNaturalist website or app and help to build a record of the nature that surrounds us.

Looking for iNaturalist support or hoping to participate in a family friendly activity as part of the City Nature Challenge? Check out a free event:

Here’s how to join the challenge:

Participating in City Nature Challenge in the capital region is easy:

1. Create an account using the free iNaturalist app (AppStore or Google Play) or website.

2. Head online to join the Greater Victoria City Nature Challenge project for a chance to win prizes and receive project updates.

3. Join the hunt! Search for local nature in your backyard, neighbourhood, or favourite park or beach between April 28 and May 1. Observations of wild native plants, animals, fungi, insects, tracks, or even scat are all welcome.

4. Use a digital camera or smart phone to capture your sightings, and upload to iNaturalist.

5. Identify your findings as best you can and have people from the iNaturalist community help confirm your identifications.

Not only does getting outside and observing the natural world surrounding us boost mental health and well-being, it’s also a key step in conserving nature for future generations.

If you’re a nature lover, this completely virtual challenge is for you!

Learn more at www.crd.bc.ca/biodiversity.

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