Birmingham and Black Country come top in global nature challenge
Dudley Council is thanking people from across Birmingham and the Black Country for supporting the region’s contribution to the annual City Nature Challenge.
The City Nature Challenge is a competition between cities all over the world, asking citizens to see how many wild species they can spot across four days in April. Cities were ranked according to the number of observations, number of species recorded and the number of observers.
Dudley borough formed part of Birmingham and the Black Country’s entry and was the UK’s highest scorer with 9,278 wildlife observations, finishing ahead of Liverpool (2nd) and Bristol & Bath (3rd). The region was the 4th biggest contributor for any participating area in Europe and the 31st highest of anywhere in the world which took in regions including Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Mexico.
Over 1,200,000 wildlife observations were made worldwide making it the biggest CNC ever. 449 cities and 44 countries took part worldwide.
Locally, spotters managed to record 838 different species including 532 species of plant were spotted, with the most recorded species including the ubiquitous Dandelion, Common Nettle and Cow Parsley.
Birds were also very well recorded with 95 species spotted. The top three were robin, blackbird and woodpigeon but there were also some interesting sightings including Hobby, Spoonbill and Spotted Flycatcher.
Despite the cold and sometimes wet weather people managed to spot quite a few hardy bees, hoverflies and other insects. The most recorded insect was Orange-tip butterfly followed by Common Carder Bee and Hairy-footed Flower-bee.
The data is now being used to populate a global database, designed to help scientists and conservationists in their work.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 City Nature Challenge changed its focus from competition; instead embracing the healing power of nature and celebrating the tens of thousands of people all around the world, searching for and documenting their local biodiversity, together in this event.
Councillor Karen Shakespeare, cabinet member elect for environmental, highways and street services, said:
We know that our parks and green spaces have been a haven for so many over the last year.
It’s great to see how much people care about the nature on the doorstep by taking park in the challenge and more importantly reaping the rewards of spending time in the great outdoors, slowing down, connecting with nature and enjoying the fresh air.
People can find out more about the City Nature Challenge, and view some of this year’s wonderful discoveries, at www.citynaturechallenge.org
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