Friday May 22nd is International Day for Biodiversity, the day the world celebrates the incredible diversity of life on Earth and the international Convention that aims to protect it.

Australia is one of the most diverse countries on Earth, so we have a lot to celebrate. But we also have one of the world’s worst records for extinction. We have more extinct mammals than any other nation and nearly 2000 plants, animals and ecosystems under threat.

2020 is a big year for biodiversity. Australia's national environmental laws are undergoing a once in a decade review and an international push is underway for an ambitious global agreement to protect nature.

The theme of this year’s Biodiversity Day celebration is ‘our solutions are in nature’. Whether it's ending extinction, solving the climate crisis, creating employment or simply improving human health and well-being, protecting and restoring nature is one of the best solutions we have.

Yet there’s still so much we don’t know about the plants and animals living among us. That’s why we’re launching the #NatureNearYou challenge – a two week challenge to discover as many plants and animals living around you as possible.

The challenge will officially start on Friday 22 May – on the International Day for Biodiversity. Join us by uploading photos of local plants and wildlife to the #NatureNearYou challenge using the free QuestaGame or iNaturalist apps.

Sharing your photos of plants and animals can lead to big impacts. Recently a young girl found an orchid in her backyard - originally thought to be extinct! Others have even helped discover new species!

The data we collect will ultimately end up in the Atlas of Living Australia, Australia’s national biodiversity database hosted by CSIRO. Together we can provide important data to scientists and policy-makers so they can better understand Australia’s biodiversity.

Select an app and sign up now to take part in the challenge! We’ll send you an email with instructions on how to download the app and join the challenge.

Join on QuestaGame

Join on iNaturalist

QuestaGame and iNaturalist are both free, independent apps that are not owned by or affiliated with ACF.

By downloading and engaging in the apps, you agree to their terms and conditions and privacy policies. Please ensure you read and agree to these policies when downloading the app.

Jess Abrahams

Nature lover. Mountain biker. Healthy Ecosystems Campaigner at ACF. Find me in the forest.