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The arrival rate of data to the smorgasbord of ADU projects in the first half of October was excellent.
SABAP2 is the most important bird conservation project. In partnership with SANBI and BirdLife South Africa, it provides the fundamental data on which all conservation initiatives are pinned. If we don’t know distributions and how they are changing, conservation planning is based on anecdotes and the opinions of the person with the loudest voice. The informal target for SABAP2 is 50 checklists per day. In the first half of October, 934 checklists have been submitted. That is way above the target of 750. These checklists contribute to the most critical period of SpringMAP. October is prime arrival month for lots of migrants from Europe and Asia, and these checklists help us quantify the spread of migrants across the landscape. It would be nice to get as much data in the second half of October too. Well done, Team SABAP2, and please keep up the good work.
There was progress too with the SABAP2013 project, with coverage for the year increasing by 121 pentads, and is now on 24.6%. We hope to be well above 30% by year end! The Four Degrees Yellow project for Greater Gauteng now has 481 pentads out of 576 visited, so there are only 95 to go. We have just reached 75% of the target of 3456 lists submitted for 2013 in these 576 pentads. We ought to have got there by 1 October, so we need all the Greater Gauteng atlasers to make a special effort in their local pentads in the last two and a half months of the year.
1498 records were submitted to the various Virtual Museum projects of the ADU. The informal target is 100 records per day, and this is just marginally short of that. The Virtual Museums build up distribution maps for a bunch of taxa (see vmus.adu.org.za). We strongly encourage bird atlasers to take their digital cameras along with them when they go atlasing, and opportunistically take photos of butterflies, damselflies, dragonflies frogs, mammals, moths, reptiles, scorpions and spiders (the SpiderMAP logo, the newest VM is featured here). These lucky records often fill important gaps in distribution. There are three VMs for birds: one for general photos, one for "Birds with Odd Plumage" and also one for nests of weavers, called PHOWN (PHOtos of Weaver Nests). PHOWN is particularly important, because it complements the overall OCCURRENCE distribution maps produced by SABAP2 with maps showing the distribution of BREEDING.Please upload all these records to the Virtual Museums; the log on to the VM website to enable you to upload records is the same as your log on to the SABAP2 website (email address and password).