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City Nature Challenge - winning photos

Student success in this year’s City Nature Challenge – see the results

This year was the biggest ever City Nature Challenge – a global effort encouraging people to discover and record local wildlife in and surrounding urban areas. Between 30 April and 3 May, more than 1,270,000 observations of 45,300 species were uploaded to iNaturalist by 53,000 people worldwide. A total of 419 city regions took part across 44 countries.

Within the Brighton & Eastern Downs area, a total of 133 citizen scientists amassed an impressive 6,101 observations of 1,128 species/taxa – placing us in the top four out of the 14 UK regions taking part. We more than tripled the number of observations made last year within The Living Coast, which is a fantastic result.

Northern wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe). Rachel White

Northern wheatear. Credit: Rachel White

Dr Rachel White and Dr Maureen Berg coordinated the University’s participation in the City Nature Challenge. They were delighted to see 30 students and members of staff take part who, collectively, contributed 36% of the observations made within Brighton and Eastern Downs. Notably, three University of Brighton students (BSc Ecology and Conservation) placed 2nd through to 4th in terms of both number of observation and species.

Furthermore, the University of Brighton won the friendly competition against the University of Sussex to see which could record the most observations and engage the most students and staff.

Sap-sucking sea slug. Credit: Maureen Berg

Sap-sucking sea slug. Credit: Maureen Berg

It is anticipated that the University of Brighton’s involvement in the City Nature Challenge will continue to grow from strength to strength, with increased focus recording campus biodiversity in order to inform sustainable management and biodiversity conservation efforts.

Prize winners

This year’s student prize winners are listed below and will each receive a £50 Amazon voucher. These come courtesy of the Belong at Brighton Extra initiative, who have also provided £500 to the University’s Ecological Society (EcoSoc) for equipment to help a wider community of students get involved in future wildlife monitoring.

Most (research grade) observations and species:

• Libby Morris (School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences)
• Caroline Wiechmann (School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences)

Apple fruit weevil (Tatianaerhynchites aequatus). Libby Morris

Apple fruit weevil (Tatianaerhynchites aequatus). Credit: Libby Morris

iNaturalist newcomers:

• Hannah Cogger (School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences)
• David Elder (School of Environment and Technology)

Best sightings:

• Hana Ketley (School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences)
• Adam-Manning Jones (School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences)

Wood forget-me-not (Myosotis sylvatica). Hannah Cogger

Wood forget-me-not (Myosotis sylvatica). Credit: Hannah Cogger

Find out more

If you would like to learn more about Sussex’s nature, 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.

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Robin Coleman • 18 May 2021

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