Right then, this year's (2019's) challenge is large in scale but will hopefully again prove to be popular and inclusive -basically you can play, for fun, without really trying or if you're a competitive type go all-out to get a near-maximum score. For the second year running I'm going with a pan-class challenge. This year's challenge (drum roll) is to see as many South American species as possible. It doesn't matter whether they're mammals, birds, herps, fish*(see below) or inverts they all count. I've chosen this challenge as it will highlight some of the more obscure species as well as reinforce where certain species come from in people's minds (I sometimes get confused) -educational as well as entertaining. I've no idea what the maximum number of species is likely to be and I'm not sure it'd be possible to find out -hopefully this will keep the challenge ticking over nicely for the duration of the year ahead. For this challenge, South America starts with Colombia and moves south and east (i.e. not including Central America). Finally, to keep things straightforward, I'm allowing animals kept that may (have) come from outside South America to be included if they're native to South America -e.g. an Arizonan Jaguar would count (like you'll find any of those). This might be a little over-simplifying, and arguably wrong, but it side-steps potential squabbles about the purity of generic animals in zoos and remains true to the spirit of the challenge -to see animals native to South American. *The only restriction I'm adding is that only the first twenty-five fish species count towards the total because: Otherwise it could distort the challenge (there's a lot of fish out there) and I'm sure players don't want to be trawling multiple Sealife centres and aquariums to win -that would be one seriously pyrrhic victory; It might give distorting advantage to those near a couple of large aquariums or near London Zoo's aquarium (which sadly may not be open all year which causes other potential disproportionate advantages to those living near). Ready. Steady. Go (from 1/1/19). Enjoy! Oh yeah, the small print -rules are as follows (basically same as always if you want to skip): 1. You have to actually see the animal, even if just for a second. You don't score if you visit a collection but don't see the animal (harsh, but fair); 2. Proof via photographs is not required, your word is your bond; 3. You have to see the animal via normal public access (i.e. not including zookeeper for the day or photography days behind the scenes) during normal public opening hours (i.e. no scoring because you know the keeper and can get access before/after hours). Basically the species has to be seen as Joe Public would; 4. Any severely limited opening or private collections (e.g. Heythrop, WHF, and any similar collections or refuges) don't count for this challenge. Controversial I know, but see previous point and I didn't think it fair to include a handful of days these collections might be open to the public as this might logistically disadvantage a large number of people; 5. Report/update your progress on this thread as you go along (let's say mandatory reporting from fifteen species and above); 6. The winner will be deemed to be the person(s) who's seen the most at 31st December 2019; 7. My (final) decision is final but I'm open to discussion and debate on any specific points. As always, I'm keeping the challenge to a species level as I don't want to get bogged down in the quagmire of debating validity of sub-species and/or genetic purity of specific animals. Taxonomy is not the greatest strength of mine so I'll rely on others to challenge anyone trying to sneak sub-species in and, if necessary, I'll take appropriate counsel for assistance on any related debates. My decision on any of these squabbles is "final" (subject to better evidence being presented and new scientific findings).