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|van der Spuy, Richard||1267|
|Blackshaw, Jessie Margaret||646|
|Van Rooyen, Johan en Estelle||173|
|2014-10-20||van der Spuy, Richard|
|2014-10-19||van der Spuy, Richard|
|2014-10-18||van der Spuy, Richard|
|2014-09-22||Blackshaw, Jessie Margaret|
|2014-09-19||Blackshaw, Jessie Margaret|
|2014-09-16||Blackshaw, Jessie Margaret|
|2014-09-15||Blackshaw, Jessie Margaret|
|2014-09-13||Blackshaw, Jessie Margaret|
|2014-09-09||Blackshaw, Jessie Margaret|
|2014-09-05||Blackshaw, Jessie Margaret|
|2014-09-04||Blackshaw, Jessie Margaret|
|2014-09-03||Blackshaw, Jessie Margaret|
|2014-09-02||Blackshaw, Jessie Margaret|
|2014-09-01||Blackshaw, Jessie Margaret|
|2014-09-01||Daniel, Philip Ronald|
It is the day for an awesome celebration for SABAP2. Coverage in the Northern Cape reached 40% on the evening of Saturday, 11 October 2014. This map does not show what 40% coverage looks like, it shows what has been achieved in the Northern Cape in the past twelve months. Vincent Parker has now been steadily beavering away single-handed for the past year, mostly in the section of the Northern Cape south of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park to about Upington. And in a five-day burst in September, the Prieska Atlas Bash team added more than another 100 pentads (and there is still data to be submitted).
311 atlasers have been active in the Northern Cape and have submitted 6146 checklists containing nearly a quarter of a million records of bird distribution. This is extraordinarily valuable data. If you are one of those 311, please treat yourself to an appropriate celebration.
The Northern Cape is especially important to SABAP2, because many of the bird species occurring here come to the edges of their ranges. It is also an area where climate change is predicted to have a large impact. The impact of climate change on birds is likely to include changes at the edges of ranges. SABAP2 wants to document the ranges as they are now.
A year ago coverage in the Northern Cape was 29%. That was six years of effort. The 11% increase in the past year is therefore hugely impressive. We especially salute Vincent, and the Prieska Atlas Bash Team.
An expedition or two to other parts of the Northern Cape will help SABAP2 towards its next big Northern Cape milestone, a concept that seemed a total pipe-dream not long ago, 50% coverage.
About 40% of South Africa's population lives in the area covered by this map. It is the famous four degree squares centred on Gauteng. Because the pressure of development is so huge, we have made it one of SABAP2's priorities to get saturation coverage on an annual basis. We do this so that we can monitor trends in bird populations on an annual basis. So we try really hard to get every one of the 576 pentads in this region atlased every year. Today's awesome news is that there are only 99 unvisited pentads left.
This map shows 2014 coverage for the four degrees of Greater Gauteng (and also shows one row of pentads all the way round the edge - it would be nice to visit lots of these too, because they have been a bit neglected!!).
If you are an atlasers in this area, please make a plan to visit one of these 99 pentads.
There is a second challenge in the region. We are aiming to get an average of six checklists per pentad during 2014. Six times 576 is 3456. At the moment we have made 3032 checklists in the region. That's 88% of the target, and we are only 76% of the way through the year. We can smash the target by a massive margin.
This is a superlative team effort, Team SABAP2 Greater Gauteng
This map shows the revised SABAP2 coverage priorities for the final three months of 2014.
Lots of gaps have been filled, so it is time for a new priority map. Priorities are graded RED, ORANGE or GREEN. Between the big impact Prieska Atlas Bash and ongoing, impact being made by Vincent Parker in the Northern Cape, it is possible to downgrade the northeastern section of the Northern Cape from RED to ORANGE.
RED priorities: in order
R1. The western end of North West Province. Almost nothing has been done here for many years!!
R2 and R3. The Namaqualand, Calvinia, Kenhardt, Williston, Carnarvon and Victoria West districts of the Northern Cape. Every record of bird distribution here is valuable.
R4. Lesotho needs a champion!
ORANGE priorities: in order
O1. Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and Gordonia,south towards Upington. This is the area that Vincent Parker is working. All help appreciated. If you visit the national park, please atlas as much as you are able, including the seemingly well-covered pentads.
O2. All the eastern districts of the Northern Cape, from Kuruman to Colesberg. Between Vincent Parker and the Prieska Atlas Bash, this has been transformed from RED to ORANGE. But 100s of pentads remain unvisited! The Murrayserg expedition planned for next year (25 April to 3 May), being led by Peter Nupen, will make a huge difference at the southern end.
O3. The Eastern Cape interior. Lots of gaps need lots of expeditions.
O4. The southern edge of the Karoo, the Western Cape part. Expedition needed to , especially, the Laingsburg district.
O5. Mopping up operations are underway in northern Limpopo. Well done Joe Grosel, and his team at the bird club in Polokwane. This priority region will probably drop off the next version of this map!
O6. The eastern edge of Swaziland. We need a champion here, too.
O7. Scattered unvisited pentads in the southern half of the Free State. It would be awesome to get the big “Highveld Carpet” to have no holes in it whatsoever. That’s a challenge.
The GREEN priority is to establish the paradigm that the initial foundation on which real coverage for a pentad is built is four carefully-made full protocol checklists. Please think of every pentad which is YELLOW (one checklist) or ORANGE (two or three checklists) as high priority pentads. Let us “GREEN” the coverage map!
Team SABAP2, we could easily make 2014 the best year ever for the project.
The orange bars in this plot are the important ones. They show how many checklists were made for SABAP2, the second bird atlas project, in each year since the project started in July 2007. The project got off to a slow start! Fewer than 2000 checklists were made in between July and December 2007, and fewer than 10000 in 2008. But since then, the project has hovered around 17000 to 18000 checklists per year. 2010 was SABAP2's best year, by around 1000 checklists. There are certainly checklists from 2013 still to be submitted, so 2013 could easily actually be above 2012. So, in spite of fuel price increases, and all the economic pressures we are subjected to, Team SABAP2 has managed to maintain data collection at a remarkably consistent level.
Just past the middle of 2014, the number of checklists made this year is close to 9000. Knowing that there is lots of data for the year still to be submitted, the real total is likely to be above 9000. Extrapolating for the remainder of 2014, this year could easily rival 2010 as SABAP2's best year for data collection.
So we urge all atlasers to put their best foot forward for the remainder of 2014, and we urge any birders who are not yet atlasing to come on board. We are not near the end of SABAP2, we are near the beginning!
SABAP2 is the fundamental project to bird conservation in the region. It holds this status because a knowledge of bird distributions and how they are changing through time is the most important ingredient in taking decisions about which species are getting into trouble, and to prioritizing how resources should be spent on bird conservation initiatives.