“The environment is where we all meet; where all have a mutual interest; it is the one thing all of us share.” 

Lady Bird Johnson 

With over 1.2k observations collected, the 2021 IUMW Bioblitz Challenge was a blast! Working with Sekitar Kita and Water Warriors (UM), the event was held in conjunction with the Klang Valley City Nature Challenge and all results were tabulated to contribute to our country’s placement in the global City Nature Challenge. 

The City Nature Challenge (CNC) is an international effort to document plants and wildlife in cities across the globe. This challenge was initiated by the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles and the California Academy of Sciences. Major and even some minor cities usually compete against one another to see who can make the most observations of nature, most of a species and who can engage the most people. We have a track record of placing in the top 10 in the past 3 years so it was quite thrilling to do our parts to win good placement for our country again. 

Besides competing in the CNC, the IUMW Bioblitz was aimed to initiate citizen science for urban biodiversity conservation. The collective observations from all participants were easily accessed by members of the public and through this, awareness about the importance of conserving our flora and fauna and environmental education can be shared. In addition to that, the event also encouraged people to participate in species documentation through the use of the iNaturalist app and many participants reported having a swell of a time taking their photos either alone or with loved ones. 

Spanning over 4 days between the 30th of April to 3rd May, each of the 63 participants combed through their own gardens and greenery around their neighborhoods within the Klang Valley to spot and identify a minimum of 30 various plant and animal species. It was an entirely SOP-compliant virtual event participated by people of all walks of life and ages. Each of the participants also received an e-certificate at the end of the event, officially initiating them as citizen scientists! The photos taken by participants were absolutely BEAUTIFUL. Here are some of the examples: 

Both by Shahril Efzueni @iNaturalist