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Challenge will be online wildlife observation effort

LINCOLN — The City Nature Challenge annually encourages a global collaborative effort to observe and record wildlife.

This year, in response to the COVID-19 health crisis, the challenge will be completed online.

The City Nature Challenge offers an opportunity to connect with nature and participate in a collective scientific effort, while safely navigating public health challenges. It calls on people to observe and submit photographs of wild plants, animals, and fungi using the free mobile app, iNaturalist.

They can upload their observations to the app April 24-27. Those unable to take photos can participate by hosting a virtual identification party April 28-May 3. The results will be announced May 4.

The Lincoln City Nature Challenge will focus on observations found in Lancaster County. That can include any wild plant, animal, fungi, or any other evidence of life, such as scat, fur, tracks, found in your neighborhood, home, yard, or even through your windows.

Learn more at OutdoorNebraska.gov/citynaturechallenge.

Participants must closely follow federal and local public health guidelines for social distancing in response to COVID-19.

To see how the City Nature Challenge is adapting to COVID-19, visit citynaturechallenge.org/COVID19.

Information gathered at the City Nature Challenge helps authorities make informed conservation decisions that allow humans to coexist sustainably with the plants and animals in their neighborhoods.

In 2019, the City Nature Challenge tallied more than 950,000 observations made by more than 35,000 people in more than 150 cities.

More than 1,100 endangered, endemic, or data-deficient species were recorded.

Partners for the City Nature Challenge in Lincoln include Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Lincoln Parks and Recreation, Spring Creek Prairie Audubon Center, Friends of Wilderness Park, The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, Prairie Pines, Citizen Scientists of Nebraska, University of Nebraska State Museum — Morrill Hall, Nebraska Forest Service, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever of Nebraska, and Lincoln Earth Day.

In other news

LINCOLN — Deer are more active this time of the fall. Crops are being harvested and deer breeding season is in full swing. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission has suggestions to help drivers avoid deer-vehicle accidents and lessen the risk of injury or vehicle damage.

 LINCOLN — The recently released 2020-2021 Stubble Access Guide highlights more than 40,000 additional acres of wheat and milo stubble and adjacent upland habitat land open for public access hunting in western Nebraska.

Those of us living in the upper Midwest are located in the Central Flyway, where waterfowl from the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories migrate south through North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, portions of Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Oklahom…

Jami (left) and Bailey Legate are shown with the paddlefish they snagged recently below Gavins Point Dam. Jami's fish measured 34.5 inches and Bailey’s was 45.5 inches long and 35 pounds.

LINCOLN — The public is invited to review and comment on the 2021-2025 Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan: Guiding Success in Nebraska Outdoor Recreation until Nov. 6, 2020. This Plan is required by the National Park Service to be updated every five years to maintain eligibility…

LINCOLN — Rainbow trout are being stocked in city ponds and state park and recreation area lakes across the state by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. These stockings will enhance fishing opportunities this fall and winter.

October outdoor calendar

LINCOLN, Neb. – The following are highlights of Nebraska Game and Parks Commission events and important dates in October. Get a more complete listing at Calendar.OutdoorNebraska.gov.

Oct. 1 – The Science of Wildlife Diseases, online webinar

Oct. 1-31 – Paddlefish snagging season in specific area of Missouri River

Oct. 3 – Dark goose hunting season opens in North Central unit

Oct. 3 – Light goose hunting regular season opens statewide

Oct. 3 – White-fronted goose hunting season opens statewide

Oct. 3 – Duck and coot hunting seasons open in Zones 2 and 4

Oct. 3-4 – Youth waterfowl hunting season opens in Zone 1

Oct. 3-4 – Living history, Fort Atkinson State Historical Park, Fort Calhoun

Oct. 4 – Muzzleloader antelope hunting season closes

Oct. 8 – The Science of Fungi, online webinar

Oct. 10 – Duck and coot hunting seasons open in Zone 1

Oct. 10-25 – Firearm antelope hunting season

Oct. 9, 16, 23 – 25th Annual Haunted Hollow – Movie Night, Indian Cave State Park (SP), Shubert

Oct. 10 – 25th Annual Haunted Hollow – Haunted Drive Thru, Indian Cave SP, Shubert

Oct. 10, 17 – Hallowfest, Ponca SP, Ponca

Oct. 10, 17, 24 – 25th Annual Haunted Hollow – Campsite Decorating Contest, Indian Cave SP, Shubert

Oct. 15 – Nebraska Game and Parks Board of Commissioners meeting, Ogallala

Oct. 17 – 33rd Annual Pumpkin Carving Festival, Calamus State Recreation Area (SRA), Burwell

Oct. 17-18 – Youth waterfowl hunting season in Zone 3

Oct. 22 – The Science of Snakes, online webinar

Oct. 23-25 – Camp & Treat, Red Willow SRA, McCook

Oct. 24 – Duck and coot hunting seasons open in Zone 3

Oct. 24-25 – Youth pheasant, quail and partridge hunting seasons statewide

Oct. 26 – Dark goose hunting season opens in East, Platte River, Panhandle and Niobrara units

Oct. 29 – The Science of Nebraska Fish, online webinar

Oct. 30 – Dove (all species) hunting season closes

Oct. 31 – Early antlerless elk hunting season closes

Oct. 31 – Pheasant, quail and partridge hunting seasons open statewide

Oct. 31 – Archery and firearm bull elk hunting seasons close

Amid the COVID-19 health crisis, Game and Parks continues to work on opening and allowing additional activities and events that can be conducted safely with the protection of our customers and staff.

Keep up to date on all cancellations, postponements and closures for Game and Parks at OutdoorNebraska.org/healthinfo. Visit Calendar.OutdoorNebraska.gov for updates on Game and Parks’ events.