WHAT IS AN ECOQUEST?
EcoQuests, part of the NYC EcoFlora Project, challenge New Yorkers to become citizen scientists and observe, study and help conserve the native plants and animals of the City, using iNaturalist, an easy-to-use mobile App.
HOW DO I GET STARTED?
Each month, NYBG EcoFlora will announce a new Challenge where we need your help to document the wild flora and fauna of New York City by taking and sharing photos via iNaturalist, an easy-to-use mobile App.
- Download iNaturalist App, or register at iNaturalist.org
- Take photos for the month’s EcoQuest Challenge
- Post your findings on iNaturalist so they can be added to the NYC EcoFlora Project.
- Check the EcoQuest web page for updates and new challenges!
There are no wrong observations. Each observation contributes vital information to reveal traits and processes largely unknown before due to a lack of data and coordination between data sets. Millions of individual data points add up to big data that will enable new insights and opportunities for research, conservation and engagement.
Since the first EcoQuest Challenge in August 2017, more than 700 observers have recorded approximately 30,000 observations of nearly 2000 species.
Please do not disturb animal activity as you record your observations.
Sign up here to receive updated informaton about our EcoQuest Challenges.
City Nature Challenge & Battle of the Boroughs - April 2019
Take the City Nature Challenge 2019 from April 26–29 with your fellow New Yorkers! iNaturalist describes it as “an international effort for people to find and document plants and wildlife in cities across the globe… in a contest against each other to see who can make the most observations… find the most species… and engage the most people.”
As added incentive for the Big Apple to claim the top spot, Team NYC will also compete in a friendly Battle of the Boroughs to see which one can make the most observations among the team total!
Document as many plants and animals in your neighborhood as possible from April 26–29. Post your observations on iNaturalist so they can be added to the NYC EcoFlora Project in order to help New York City win the City Nature Challenge 2019 and your borough prevail in the Battle of the Boroughs.
Arum Alert - March 2019
Italian Arum (Arum italicum) is a toxic invasive plant that threatens woodlands, meadows, and wetlands. Like Lesser Celandine (Ficaria verna) it is highly adaptive to diverse conditions and forms dense stands that crowd out native species. It initially spreads from garden plantings and has begun to invade nearby natural areas in our region, often associated with English Ivy (Hedera helix).
Take photographs of Italian Arum, with or without English Ivy, anywhere you see it in New York City and post your findings iNaturalist so they can be added to the NYC EcoFlora Project.
Lichen Love - February 2019
Lichens are formed by a partnership between a photosynthetic alga that produces food and a fungus that provides shelter. Highly sensitive to air quality, Lichens were all but eliminated from New York City before federal regulations to curb pollution were enacted in 1970. Show your love for Lichens (and our cleaner air) by documenting them with research-quality photos that are in sharp focus.
Take photographs of Lichens anywhere in New York City and post your findings iNaturalist so they can be added to the NYC EcoFlora Project.
More information: Register for: The Hidden World of Lichens, taught by James Lendemer, Ph.D., NYBG’s curator of lichens.
Photo: Maritime Sunburst Lichen (Xanthoria parietina), (c) Nova Patch, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA)
Make the Grade - January 2019
New Yorkers have responded to the EcoQuest Challenge since its inception in August 2017 with more than 44,500 observations. Approximately 75% are Research Grade, meaning their IDs have been confirmed by two or more people and they are suitable for global research and conservation projects.
This month we are asking everyone to take a virtual Challenge by reviewing the 25% of observations that need ID, confirming or adding IDs, and helping them MAKE THE GRADE.
Visit the NYC EcoFlora Project at iNaturalist for more information about how you can help every observation MAKE THE GRADE.
Additional resource: Download the Guide: Make the Grade.
The New Manual of Vascular Plants
Interested in learning more about the region’s biodiversity? Check out The New Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada, a project by NYBG and indispensable resource that provides new tools to identify plants in North America.