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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.