City Nature Challenge

April 26 - 29, 2024
Calling All Hikers: Help highlight Nova Scotian biodiversity!

By Mary Kennedy

The 2024 City Nature Challenge (CNC) will take place at locations around the globe between April 26 to April 29. In Nova Scotia two areas, HRM and CBRM, are registered in this 4-day event that runs from Friday to Monday. For this challenge the definition of ‘city’ is a bit loose as any location inside of these two large municipalities counts!

To participate simply record an observation of wildlife and share using the iNaturalist app (get from Google Play or the App Store) or go online to and upload digital photos and/or sound recordings. Anyone can contribute as one does not need to be an expert!

The local objectives for the CNC are simple – people are encouraged to get outdoors, to explore, to observe nature, and to record observations. 

Hikers can use iNat as a tool to share sightings of wildlife such as deer or eagles. One can also share photos of rabbit droppings, moose tracks, trees gnawed by beavers as well as photos of blackflies, ants, and ticks! Wildlife is not restricted to animals – there are lots of ‘wild’ flora around – ferns, cattails, trees, lupins. Remember to never pester an animal nor trample plants just to record an observation!

Use iNat as a tool to learn the names of species that live in different habitats and along different trails in the province. Observations don’t have to be photos – one can also share sound recordings. Easy species to record include squirrels, loons, ravens, and other birds. iNat is a great tool for hikers to share presence of coyotes in an area! 

Hikers can easily ‘iNat’ without slowing down the pace. Stop for a few minutes when something grabs your attention – and take a photo. Take a few photos at the start/end of the hike or during rest stops. There is no need to upload/share observations immediately! iNat observations can be uploaded anytime, however in order to count for the CNC they must be recorded between April 26-29 and uploaded on or before May 5th. The global results will be announced on Monday May 6th.

Hike the Trans Canada Trail during the CNC. Choose a section of the trail that falls within HRM or CBRM. With the combined efforts of many hikers maybe we will see observations shared from every kilometre marker of CNC sections of the trail in NS and across the country from east to west!

Work on the Hike NS Hiker Challenge Biodiversity Challenge. This badge requires the completion of at least 10 hikes along with the submission of 10+ observations to iNaturalist. Get out your logbook start recording trail names, distance hiked, and number of observations submitted to iNaturalist! 

Start planning your CNC adventure today! Set your own goals and challenge others. Every observation counts. Plan to participate. Help highlight Nova Scotia!

For more information email here

Learn how to add observations to iNaturalist on a mobile device or using the web.

Watch the stats: Once the global challenge starts follow the various iNat project leaderboards and watch the numbers change – Which area is posting the most observations? The most species? Which part of the World, Canada, the Atlantic Provinces, HRM, or CBRM will have the highest number of participants? 
Nova Scotia: HRM and CBRM

For more information on regional Atlantic Canadian CNC activities read current and past articles in the Maritimes/Atlantic Provinces iNat journal

Read more about iNaturalist Canada

City Nature Challenge Faceboook page

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