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Wish list for Year 8 of SABAP2
The eighth year of SABAP2, the Second Southern African Bird Atlas Project starts today, 1 July 2014. When we set out on this journey on 1 July 2007, none of us dreamed that we would still be keeping going. The biggest lesson from SABAP2 is that bird distributions are on the move. We cannot afford to stop atlasing. SABAP2 is probably the best broad-brush bird monitoring exercise anywhere on the planet.
(1) If you are an atlaser, please maintain “sustainable atlasing.” We cannot afford for you to suffer “burn-out.” Please keep on atlasing at the pace you enjoy doing it.
(2) If you are not yet an atlaser, please learn the protocol and get involved. We are NOT near the END of the project, we are near the BEGINNING. We need you on board. Atlasing is easier than it has ever been with Lynx Birdticks (Android) and BirdLasser (iPhone). See their Facebook pages.
(3) There is no pentad for which we have “enough” data.
(4) The top priority remains full protocol checklists – a minimum of two hours of intensive birding within a pentad which aims to produce as comprehensive a list as feasible of the species present in the pentad.
(5) If you are able to travel, please help fill the major gaps in coverage. Try to participate in gap-filling expeditions. Even better, take courage, and organize an expedition yourself.
(6) Please treat any pentad with fewer than four full-protocol checklists as a top priority pentad.
(7) If you are in an area where data coverage is poor, and you have the opportunity to make even a short list of species for a few minutes, please submit the records as an ad hoc list.
(8) If you have seen a single species which you know is rare in a pentad (or might not yet have been observed), please submit it as an incidental record. If in doubt, submit.
(9) If a pentad has not yet been atlased in 2014, treat it as a priority. Try to get 2014 coverage up to four checklists in as many pentads as feasible.
(10) Please be careful. Please ask permission before you venture onto private land. Please don’t atlas and drive at the same time.
(11) If you have a collection of "Out of Range Forms" (ORFs) please make a resolution to deal with them.
(12) Please try to be an Ambassador for Biodiversity. How do you answer this question: “How does my participation SABAP2 make a difference for biodiversity conservation?”?
(13) Please try to recruit new atlasers. Mentoring is a powerful tool in bringing new atlasers on board. We need to share the workload out more broadly!
(14) If you are within striking distance of the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens on Saturday, 16 August, please attend the ADU's Citizen Scientist Day. On the pogramme will be bird atlas feedback. We have done comparisons between bird distributions in the first and second bird atlas projects. The changes go way beyond anyone’s wildest expectations.
(15). Most important, your participation needs to be something that you enjoy doing.