.....it will collect valuable data on Hong Kong’s urban biodiversity.
On the 5th November, over 20 local and international secondary schools will compete to find and log the most species in and around their campus, all using the free geo-tagging app, iNaturalist. Has your school and your child signed up for this great event?
They will be as busy as little bees!
Shaun Martin - organiser, see contact details below - told me that "Using iNaturalist allows teachers a different method for teaching ecology and incorporates aspects of STEM education. By taking pictures of specimens through iNaturalist, students are contributing to a global database of observations, and in turn, getting a better understanding of biodiversity that is on their own doorstep. One doesn't need to go to a Country Park or Mangrove to appreciate nature, you can just walk around your neighbourhood!
I don't think this competition will change the connection to nature overnight yet the simplicity of iNaturalist will allow users an engagement with other nature enthusiasts and ecologists that will hopefully stir more curiosity within them and empower them to continue their own personal survey! With more engagement comes more understanding and with more understanding comes more knowledge. The journey is as exciting as the destination".
Indeed and exactly.
It aims to replicate the massive success of Hong Kong in the City Nature Challenge 2018, which saw Hong Kong beat other world cities like Tokyo, London and New York, and will follow the same format; schools will compete for most observations, most species and most observers. It aims to be the largest synchronised school activity based on nature education in Hong Kong.
“The main objectives of the HKISCNC are to help students understand urban biodiversity in their schools and neighbourhoods and contribute to urban biodiversity data, all under the guise of healthy competition! It’s great as it’s so easy to join in, all you need is a smartphone and the free app, iNaturalist!” says Shaun Martin.
The photos that these students upload will be further identified by the iNaturalist community, which is made up of nature enthusiasts and professional ecologists (and your very own WildCreatures blogger), therefore adding to the educational component of the competition. You can keep up-to-date on how individual schools are getting on via the leaderboard with more information on the website.
Dear e-mail blog readers,
It was pointed out to me (thanks Hans) that you may have comments or questions, and this email format does not allow for that…so....
If you have comments or questions, please go to the Facebook Page “Wildcreatures Hong Kong” (also with the same daily blog) and post them there.
Its linked here
(Or cut and paste this into your browser: https://www.facebook.com/wildcreatureshongkong/ . ) For blogs in Chinese, search for "香港野 hong kong wildcreatures" Linked here. Please also see www.wildcreatureshongkong.info for ID and animal information, and www.hongkongsnakeid.com for snakes.