News Flash

Urban Biologist

Posted on: April 24, 2017

DFW Wins National “City Nature Challenge” Competition

Milkweed

Thank you, citizen scientists for making DFW the national winner of City Nature Challenge. Earlier this month we asked you to join us in submitting pictures of plants, animals and other living organisms that make up our diverse ecosystem.

Thank you, citizen scientists for making DFW the national winner of City Nature Challenge. Earlier this month we asked you to join us April 14 -18 in submitting pictures of plants, animals and other living organisms make up our diverse ecosystem, using the free app iNaturalist.

Last year, Los Angeles and San Francisco organized the first ever City Nature Challenge. This year they expanded to involve 16 other cities, including: DFW, New York, Chicago, Miami, Salt Lake City, Houston and Austin. DFW tallied the most observations with 502 citizen scientists collecting 24,136 observations across the 9-county region.  This accounted for 2,308 species.  The City of Dallas, along with the Dallas Park and Recreation Department, were active partners with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in this 4-day effort.  Next year, when this is a worldwide competition, we will increase our efforts to ensure a win there too.

DPRD—City of Dallas
Dallas Park and Recreation Urban Biologist Brett Johnson organized several iNaturalist projects to focus on Dallas and its diverse urban ecosystem. In just 4 days, 100 citizen scientists collected 3,109 observations for DPRD-City of Dallas, that accounted for 783 species, including 386 plant species and 84 bird species. Furthermore, 247 species collected were insects, most of which were pollinators, which is invaluable information as the Department focuses on pollinator conservation.

DPRD—WR Creek Watershed
DPRD—WR Creek Watershed is another project that focuses on park property within the White Rock Creek watershed.  This includes all park property from Harry S. Moss Park down to Samuell Grand Park.  In this area, 24 volunteers collected 686 observations accounting for 243 species.  This included 57 insect species, 120 species of plants, and 37 bird species. 

DPRD--WR Unit #6 (Bath House)
DPRD--WR Unit #6 (Bath House) Is a project associated with the prairie management at White Rock Lake.  In less than 2 hours, 7 observers collected 96 observations covering 48 different species.  In such a short time, they were able to record 36 species of plants. What amazed participants in this event was the sheer number of milkweed plants we saw in this prairie unit.  Milkweed plants are critical for the Monarch butterflies.

The Dallas Park and Recreation Department will like to give a big THANK YOU to all the citizen scientists who participated in our first City Nature Challenge.  Everyone had a great time and a lot of valuable information was collected. 

Are you looking for your next citizen scientist opportunity?  Join us for the North Texas Master Naturalists “Native Plants and Prairies Day” at the Bath House Cultural Center at White Rock Lake on May 6th.  Urban Biologist Brett Johnson will host a BioBlitz event is part of the activities. 

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