Cape Town residents earn second spot in City Nature Challenge winner categories

12 May 2022 in Where We Govern

Cape Town achieved second place among 450 cities in the number of observations recorded and in the number of species recorded categories during the recent City Nature Challenge.

‘I am extremely proud of all of those residents who participated in this challenge. Your explorations and photos of our city’s diverse plant and animal life made its mark. The results are finally in and I’m excited to confirm that Cape Town achieved second place out of over 450 cities around the world who also participated in the City Nature Challenge over the long weekend,’ said the City’s Deputy Mayor and Mayoral Committee Member for Spatial Planning and Environment, Alderman Eddie Andrews.

Together, Cape Town participants were able to record 66 144 observations and 4 388 species across the city. First place in the recorded observations category was La Paz (Bolivia), with 137 345 observations. In the recorded species category, first place also went to La Paz with 5 320 species.

‘A special thanks to all the participants, and especially to the people who helped identify 80% of the over 66 000 observations that were recorded in Cape Town. Nearly 1 700 people participated in Cape Town, meaning there is plenty of potential for growth, but we should celebrate that for the second year running, we had an increase of just over 25% in our number of participants year-on-year. This is a wonderful achievement,’ said Alderman Andrews.

The competition took place between 29 April and 2 May 2022. Capetonians were encouraged to explore the City’s nature reserves and natural open spaces, and to record all of the local plant and animal species that they spotted over the four days. Participants were required to download the app and share their observations by uploading all of their findings on the app.

The City coordinated numerous activities during the course of the challenge, among which tours of the reserves with local experts. The reserves were open to those interested in recording their observations of plant and animal life over the four days.

‘Although cities can compete for observations and observers, many cities are in less exciting places in terms of biodiversity, and cannot compete with tropical cities and those as rich in biodiversity as Cape Town. I would like to encourage residents to make use of the upcoming World Biodiversity Day next Sunday, 22 May 2022 and embrace this rich natural environment we have on our doorstep. We manage more than 20 nature reserves across Cape Town and these spaces offer an abundance of natural beauty and diversity,’ said Alderman Andrews

For the first time, Cape Town had four neighbouring cities taking part and loyalties were tried. Many Capetonians opted to enjoy the long weekend observing nature in Weskus, Stellenbosch, Overstrand and Southern Overberg, who benefited from the experienced assistance.

For a list of all of the City’s reserves and details about their location, facilities and attractions, please visit