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NZers to find and record hundreds of species

New Zealanders to find and record hundreds of species during Conservation Week.


New Zealanders to find and record hundreds of species during Conservation Week.

iNaturalist NZ is encouraging New Zealanders to find and record as many different species as they can in their neighbourhoods during Conservation Week for the first annual “Neighbourhood Nature Nosey” (www.bit.ly/naturenosey).

Observations are aggregated regionally, which will help to build a picture of what species are present around New Zealand where people live, work, and play.

“People are looking for birds, insects, plants, reptiles, lichens, mushrooms. They could native or exotic, common or rare, friend or foe, wild or domesticated. Basically, they’re looking for all the nature they can find,” says Colin Meurk, Chair of the New Zealand Biological Recording Network Trust (NZBRN) which manages iNaturalist NZ.

“Everyone should be able to find near to 1000 species around their homes.”

“Once an observation is added, the iNaturalist NZ community helps them to identify the species. So people don’t need to know what it is when they record it” said Meurk.

Auckland is currently in the top spot, followed by Canterbury, Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay, Manawatu-Whanganui, and Wellington.

“Canterbury was in the lead on the first day, with Auckland second. Last night, they were tied for first place, and now Auckland is well ahead with over 500 observations. Who knows which region will take it out. We are also expecting a late surge from Wellington and Otago” said Meurk.

Participants receive a new prompt every day encouraging them to look in a particular habitat around their home or neighbourhood.

“We’re leaving no stone or log unturned in the search for creatures large and small ” says Meurk.

Already, 130 people have made 1500 observations of over 650 species. The mallard duck, kererū and tūī are the most commonly seen species so far.

The Neighbourhood Nature Nosey will run during Conservation Week from 15 — 23 September at midnight. To take part, download the iNaturalist app and make sure to choose the New Zealand option, or visit www.inaturalist.nz and record a sighting. To keep up with the “Neighbourhood Nature Nosey” results, visit www.bit.ly/naturenosey.

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