Join Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium to identify and count plants and animals that live among us. You can make a difference by participating in the City Nature Challenge to help document Omaha Metro biodiversity on April 29 through May 2, 2022.
For the past five years, Omahans have participated in the City Nature Challenge, which is an annual, global, community science competition to document urban biodiversity. Last year more than 419 cities from all over the world counted species over the four-day event with Cape Town, South Africa taking home top honors for most biodiversity.
“This is our chance to get to know the plants, animals and fungi that are in our backyards, which ultimately helps scientists, land managers and the community work better to study and protect wildlife,” said Elizabeth Mulkerrin, vice president of education at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. “You truly make a difference by helping document the biodiversity of plants and animals in the Omaha Metro area.”
Anyone and everyone is encouraged to take part in the 2022 City Nature Challenge. It is free and easy to download the National Geographic’s free iNaturalist app, available on Apple’s App Store or Google Play for Android.
- Once downloaded, select the project titled “City Nature Challenge 2022: Omaha Metro Area,” and then find “Omahazoo.”
- Find wildlife around the Omaha community between 12:01 a.m. on April 29 and 11:59 p.m. on May 2, 2022. This can include any plant, animal, fungi, slime mold or other evidence of life, such as scat, fur, tracks, shells, and carcasses. Wildlife must be native to the participating city.
- Take a picture of what is discovered and take note of its location.
- Report the findings on the iNaturalist app.
For the last two years COVID-19 provided new challenges to staying safe and healthy. Together, participants embrace nature and the collaborative aspect of the City Nature Challenge by documenting biodiversity even from the safety of their own homes. This year, we still are feeling effects of COVID-19, but have embraced the new normal of both virtual and in-person events. Check the Zoo’s website at OmahaZoo.com/CityNatureChallenge and the Zoo’s social media channels for information about what various partners are doing to help spread this fun and exciting experience throughout the Omaha area.
For the 2022 challenge, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium’s partners include Omaha STEM Ecosystem, Heron Haven, Mulhall’s, Fontenelle Forest, Community Scientists of Nebraska Network, Nebraska Wildlife Rehab, Omaha Public Libraries, Omaha Parks and Recreation, and Keep Omaha Beautiful.