GARDEN ROUTE DISTRICT NEWS - The Garden Route City Nature Challenge from 24 to 27 April is still on - in true lockdown fashion.
Everything in and around your home and the terrain you are safely allowed to be on, can be recorded: the moth on the lampshade, the snoozing cat on the rocking chair, the little mouse in the pantry, geckos on the stoep wall, granny's potted fern and the woodlice under its drip tray - plus all the birds, bees, plants and other creatures outside.
Have a look at all the great ways to attract and record insects easily at your home on Bioblitzing Goggos at www.inaturalist.org/projects/city-nature-challenge-2020-cape-town/journal/33098.
Do not miss out on this fun, incredibly stimulating experience to be part of something bigger, something positive in the world. Fun to fit all ages!
Remember that photos, sound clips and videos are uploaded onto iNaturalist.org. Check the date, time and locality settings on your equipment. Only material recorded from the Friday to the Monday in the Garden Route District municipal area will be included in the Garden Route City Nature Challenge 2020. Wild, captive and cultivated – all are acceptable as observations. There is time to upload and identify the interesting finds until Monday 3 May. You do not have to identify your observations yourself – but if you are an expert in any field, now is your chance to jump in and help with identifications.
How to use iNaturalist or the iNat phone app? Online training material is available or contact Nicky van Berkel on 082 373 6945 or Louw Claassens on 082 928 9391 for troubleshooting or guidance when it comes to uploads or using the identify tool. Direct any queries to Christine at email@example.com.
To cater for lockdown heebie-jeebies in southern Africa, an umbrella Lockdown Project was set up on iNaturalist. All observations made during the prescribed lockdown period in southern Africa are pulled into these projects. Included in the parent umbrella are separate sub-projects for the cities registered for City Nature Challenge.
Despite low numbers of observers, the Garden Route is doing pretty well in the observations and species stakes (see www.inaturalist.org/projects/garden-route-south-africa-lockdown).
None of us know what is in store for us in the months ahead. Here is an opportunity to shift focus, reconnect and discover what is right under our noses. For example, a call was made to Capetonians to find chameleons and moths in the city – the results are a delight! So, take part and contribute or follow what the naturalists in southern Africa are sharing. For the Lockdown Projects, captive and cultivated organism count too.
This is also an ideal platform for being creative in what to research and who to interact with. A recce of iNaturalist.org can spark ideas and dreams during lockdown. For many students and learners it is time to be back at the books, in online mode though. No doubt iNaturalist can play an enabling role to enrich, but it most certainly caters for cerebral escapism too.
News, tips and updates are on Facebook/Garden Route City Nature Challenge and follow the event on www.inaturalist.org/projects/city-nature-challenge-2020-garden-route.
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