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2024 City Nature Challenge breaks records

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2024 City Nature Challenge breaks records
May 15, 2024


Nearly 900 observers participated in this year’s City Nature Challenge spanning King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties, including Everett, Seattle, Bellevue, Tacoma, Snohomish, and any place in between. From April 26 through April 29, community scientists submitted 16,395 nature observations—up 63% from 2023—and identified 1,868 species (+30%), showing the world the incredible biodiversity in the region’s home turf. That’s the region’s record!

“It’s exciting to set a new record, year after year, and to see our community discover and appreciate native wildlife,” said Zachary Hawn, Conservation Engagement Coordinator at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. “This data will contribute to research projects and help real scientists better understand how to protect our regional wildlife.”

Cockerell’s Dorid, Photo by iNaturalist user Justin/ajustinfocus.

“Our community is not only helping local scientists but is also showing the rest of the world just how biodiverse Puget Sound is,” said Craig Standridge, Nature Engagement Curator at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park.

Some of the sightings reported in this area were relatively rare. There were 101 observations of 23 threatened or endangered species, including Oregon forest snail, Western toad, San Francisco lacewing, golden paintbrush, and netted specklebelly lichen.

Western toad, Photo by iNaturalist user tomcorella

The most observed species included Western sword fern, salmonberry, and salal.


Globally, 83,528 (+26%) people participated in the challenge across 690 cities (+43%) in 51 countries. The most observed species worldwide was a mallard duck, with 5,830 observations.

“City Nature Challenge encourages people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities to observe and connect with wild plants and animals in their own neighborhood,” said Katie Remine, Living Northwest Conservation Manager at Woodland Park Zoo. “Seeing so many community scientists participating in the largest bioblitz on the planet gives us hope for recovery and coexistence.”

Four-Spined Squat Lobster, Photo by iNaturalist user Justin/ajustinfocus

What is the City Nature Challenge?

The City Nature Challenge is a global community science challenge that encourages people to find, identify, and record all living things within an area in a set amount of time. The challenge is organized on a global scale by the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and the California Academy of Sciences. Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, and Woodland Park Zoo partner to promote the challenge in the Seattle-Tacoma metropolitan area, supporting and coaching the community in how to participate in the challenge, advance science, and discover the nature and wildlife around them.

The local planning committee also includes Seattle Parks and Recreation, Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, The Nature Conservancy in Washington, The Washington Dept. of Agriculture, Washington Invasive Species Council, and Green Tukwila/City of Tukwila.

Become a community scientist any day of the week. Visit our community science page or science to learn more.