What wildlife did you see the last time you went outside? What will you see next? Help put Toronto and GTA on the map to win the title of the wildest city in Canada as we gear up to compete in the 2022 City Nature Challenge!
The City Nature Challenge is an annual four-day global event where cities across the world compete to see which city can gather the greatest number of wildlife observations, find the most species and engage the most people at the event. EcoSpark is once again proud to be the regional organizer for the city of Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area.
As my colleagues and I prepared for this year’s City Nature Challenge event, we scouted out biodiversity in a location slated for development with the Bradford Bypass project in Holland Marsh. It was a beautiful early Spring day, and I was fascinated to find, photograph, and learn about a long brown beetle larva camouflaged on tree bark among many dozen observations. By sharing my photo to the free iNaturalist app, I’m hoping other naturalists on the platform will help me identify this as a juvenile firefly.
Fireflies (which are actually beetles, it turns out) are familiar to many people yet mysterious – did you know that some don’t flash, some spark local tourism, and many of them are at risk? By sharing our observations of the natural world we can support firefly conservation efforts, local environmental action, and so much more: a chance to build a better world for all of its wildly diverse inhabitants.
Last year, Toronto and GTA took part in the challenge and recorded a whopping 6207 observations, 836 species and 860 observers, putting us on the top spot for the most species observed and most observers in Canada, and second spot for the most observations recorded in Canada.
Worldwide, over 1.2 million wildlife observations were made, making City Nature Challenge 2021, the biggest one yet!
Help us surpass that number this year by getting to 8000 observations, 1500 species and 1000 observers and put Toronto and GTA on the map to win the title of the wildest city in Canada!
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