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Cape Town recorded most sightings and species in world 2021 #CityNatureChallenge

14 May 2021 12:05 PM
Tags:
Cape Town
Biodiversity
Biodiversity Conservation
2021 City Nature Challenge

The City of Cape Town has been declared as the official winner of two categories in the global 2021 City Nature Challenge.
Photograph by Clive Maasch

The City of Cape Town has been declared as the official winner of two categories in the 2021 City Nature Challenge, a global initiative where over 150 cities participate.

The City's participants made the most observations and recorded the most species in the world, reports the City of Cape Town.

Local residents were encouraged to participate in the 2021 City Nature Challenge by documenting the biodiversity seen across Cape Town. The City Nature Challenge took place from Friday 30 April until Monday 3 May 2021, explains Africa Melane.

Participants were required to make observations of wild plants, animals, and fungi within the city.

Cities around the world will be taking part in the challenge to see who can make the most observations of nature, and find the most species.

Organisers have removed the competition aspect due to the Covid-19 pandemic, stating that the challenge was about collaboration and community.

Rupert Koopman, the conservation manager at the Botanical Society of South Africa talks to Africa about how the City Nature Challenge fared.

Koopman says the Botanical Society was just one of the partners involved in this initiative along with the City of Cape Town and others. It forms part of the global City Nature Challenge 2021 initiative.

We had over 71,000 sightings. The target we had set was 60,000 for Cape Town.

Rupert Koopman, Conservation Manager - Botanical Society of South Africa

They were targeting 5000 different species and achieved 4,700.

We are blessed with our scientists and citizen scientists who are experts in fynbos and grassland across the country.

Rupert Koopman, Conservation Manager - Botanical Society of South Africa

The marine people really came to the party. They went out, arranged dives every day, and more than 500 species were documented from under the sea.

Rupert Koopman, Conservation Manager - Botanical Society of South Africa

Were there any species surprises among the contributions?

He says a sea sting slug of some variety was observed which appears to be an undescribed species.

In Gqeberha a new locality of Cyclopia pubescens which is one of their critically endangered species, Honeybush, was found.

Rupert Koopman, Conservation Manager - Botanical Society of South Africa

He says the organisers are still going through all the results of 71,000 photos that were uploaded from over 1,200 observers.

I always say to people, nature is not out there somewhere up the mountain or in the game reserves. It is all around us - even the road verges. Turn that focus internally and look at what we have around us.

Rupert Koopman, Conservation Manager - Botanical Society of South Africa

The City Nature Challenge highlights that there are very sensitive species within the city that need to be protected, he notes.

There are not sufficient resources in cities for conservation.

Rupert Koopman, Conservation Manager - Botanical Society of South Africa

Listen to the interview below:




14 May 2021 12:05 PM
Tags:
Cape Town
Biodiversity
Biodiversity Conservation
2021 City Nature Challenge

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