Journal archives for April 2019

April 25, 2019

Knoxville Wildlife Area & beyond (Trip)

On Sunday March 24 I hiked part of Zim Zim Valley, looking for butterflies & wildflowers mainly.

Posted on April 25, 2019 19:43 by kestrel kestrel | 27 observations | 1 comment | Leave a comment

April 18, 2019

The City Nature Challenge starts in one week!

Hello San Francisco Bay Area nature enthusiasts! We hope you're as excited as we are about the City Nature Challenge, starting Friday, April 26! There are over 150 cities around the world taking part this year, all of us working together to document nature in metro areas globally.

Starting at 12:01 am on the 26th and going until 11:59pm on April 29th, any observation made in the San Francisco Bay Area (all 9 counties that touch the Bay, and in the Bay itself! - see the map on the front of this project page) will be automatically added to our SF Bay Area City Nature Challenge project. Feel free to get out there and make observations on your own, or join in one of the many events being held by organizations all around the Bay Area during the 4 days of the challenge to meet other naturalists in our area.

From April 30 - May 5, we have time to get all our observations uploaded and work on getting as many identified as we can (come to our ID party on May 1!). Results will be announced on Monday, May 6, but you can check out all the observations coming in from around the world from the cities using iNaturalist on our City Nature Challenge umbrella project, and you can see the full leaderboard (includes the cities using a platform other than iNaturalist) on the City Nature Challenge website.

We can't wait to see what we all find - here in the Bay Area, and around the world!

Posted on April 18, 2019 20:50 by kestrel kestrel | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 28, 2019

Thank you!

As we're heading into the home stretch of the City Nature Challenge, we (Alison Young @kestrel, and Lila Higgins @lhiggins - the two lead organizers of the CNC) want to give huge THANK YOU to all of you taking part! Thank you to all of the local organizers of the CNC who got the word out, held events, and worked hard to make the CNC happen in their cities. Thank you to all of you who are out there documenting your local nature - in all types of weather! - to help your city in the CNC and to take part in this international event. Thank you to all of you working on identifying all the observations coming in for the CNC - we know it's a literal flood of observations and we appreciate everyone taking the time to help get correct IDs on them. And of course a big thank you to the iNaturalist team for keeping iNat up and running as we more than double their usual activity!
CNCgraph

And remember that you can see the full leaderboard on the City Nature Challenge website, since not all cities are using iNaturalist as their platform.

So what's next? Well, keep making observations - you have until 11:59pm your time on Monday April 29 to take your photos! After that, we have about a week to get all observations uploaded, and most importantly - identified! You can click here to see all the observations made for the CNC that still need identification help - use the filters on that page to look at specific groups of organisms (e.g., plants, birds, reptiles, fungi, etc.) and to look at observations from particular locations (e.g., New York City, Hong Kong, Texas, United Kingdom, etc.)

Whatever your city's stats are as of 9:00am your local time on Monday May 6 will be considered the final stats for your city. We'll compile all the results and will announce them in the afternoon (Pacific time) on Monday, May 6. We'll be looking at the results in many different ways - not just total numbers - so check back here to see the full results breakdown!

Posted on April 28, 2019 23:00 by kestrel kestrel | 6 comments | Leave a comment

April 30, 2019

City Nature Challenge: next steps, results announced May 6!

Thanks for an incredible four days of observing our local nature! A HUGE thank you to all the Bay Area organizations that held events, all of you who got out there and made observations, and everyone who has helped go through and identify those observations already! Including the cities that didn't use iNaturalist, all together we've uploaded over 800,000 observations of more than 27,000 species! Plus 32,000+ people participated, which is absolutely amazing.

So what's next? Well, we're done taking pictures, but there are still quite a few things that can be done before the challenge is officially over:

Uploading: If you have a backlog of photos that they haven't uploaded yet, you can keep uploading their observations through Sunday, May 5. Of course, these observations must have been taken during the observing window of April 26 - 29 and made within the nine Bay Area counties to count - but as long as they meet those two requirements, they will be added to our project.

Identifying: The main reason we have a week between the ending of making observations and announcing the results is so that people have time to identify observations! You can learn more about best practices of making observations here: https://www.inaturalist.org/pages/getting+started#identify

If you want some help learning how to ID on iNaturalist (anyone can be an identifier, just like anyone can be an observer!), or you just want to hang out with a bunch of other people also making IDs, come to our ID Party tomorrow night at Standard Deviant!

If you're not going to have a chance to join us for the ID party, you can still help with IDs! You can see which SF Bay Area City Nature Challenge observations still need IDs here: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/identify?project_id=city-nature-challenge-2019-san-francisco-bay-area

Once you're on the identify page, you can filter for particular taxa (using the "species" box or using the taxon buttons in the filters) if you'd like (e.g., birds, plants, fungus, lizards). You can also click the "unknown" button in the filters: Screen Shot 2019-04-30 at 12.04.49 PM to see all the observations that were uploaded with no ID at all. For these unknowns, if you don't know the species it's still useful to add a coarse ID like "plants" or "grasses" or "reptiles" so that the people who know these taxa can find these observations more easily to identify them.

A big part of identifying is also helping us mark observations of organisms that are clearly captive or cultivated as such. If you see a human-planted plant or an animal that's in a zoo or aquarium or is a pet, PLEASE mark these observations Captive / Cultivated (if you're in the identify page):
Screen Shot 2019-04-30 2

or click the thumbs down for "Organism is wild" in the Data Quality Assessment section if you're on the observation page:
Screen Shot 2019-04-30 3

Also: if you see an observation where you think the photograph is inappropriate or not taken by the observer (e.g., they found the photo somewhere on the internet), please read what to do here: https://www.inaturalist.org/pages/help#inappropriate

Results: Whatever our numbers are as of 9am on Monday, May 6 will be our results! We'll post here in the news once we have results compiled and ready to present - this will most likely be around 3pm Pacific Time on Monday May 6.

Thanks, and happy uploading and identifying!

Posted on April 30, 2019 21:50 by kestrel kestrel | 0 comments | Leave a comment