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Journal Article

Preliminary summary of changes in bird distributions between the First and Second Southern African Bird Atlas Projects (SABAP1 and SABAP2)

TL;DR: In this article, the authors make comparisons between SABAP1 and SABABAP2, which is more complex than anticipated at the start of SABA2, making comparisons between the two SABAs.
Abstract: Making comparisons between SABAP1 and SABAP2 is more complex than anticipated at the start of SABAP2...

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In 2015 and 2016, this paper repeated road transects for raptors across northern Botswana that were first conducted in 1991 and 1995, and explored changes in abundance of 29 species.

28 citations

Dissertation
01 Sep 2016
TL;DR: Thissis (PhD)--University of Pretoria, 2016 is a posthumous publication based on a thesis presented at the 2016 South African Academy of Arts and Sciences (SAAS) convocation, where the author’s dissertation was presented as a stand-alone work.
Abstract: Thesis (PhD)--University of Pretoria, 2016 © 2016 University of Pretoria All rights reserved The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria

27 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors demonstrate how southern Africa's citizen science-based "early warning system for biodiversity" is used to support land-use planning and conservation decisions, including Red List, strategic and project-based environmental impact assessments and national protected area expansion and implementation strategies.

25 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The Southern African Bird Atlas Projects (SABAP) 1 and 2 are large-scale citizen science data sets, consisting of hundreds of thousands of bird checklists and > 10 million bird occurrence records on a grid across the subcontinent as mentioned in this paper.
Abstract: The robust assessment of conservation status increasingly requires population metrics for species that may be little-researched, with no prospect of immediate improvement, but for which citizen science atlas data may exist. We explore the potential for bird atlas data to generate population metrics of use in red data assessment, using the endemic and near-endemic birds of southern Africa. This region, defined here as South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland, is home to a large number of endemic bird species and an active atlas project. The Southern African Bird Atlas Projects (SABAP) 1 and 2 are large-scale citizen science data sets, consisting of hundreds of thousands of bird checklists and > 10 million bird occurrence records on a grid across the subcontinent. These data contain detailed information on species’ distributions and population change. For conservationists, metrics that guide decisions on the conservation status of a species for red listing can be obtained from SABAP, including range size, range change, population change, and range connectivity (fragmentation). We present a range of conservation metrics for these bird species, focusing on population change metrics together with an associated statistical confidence metric. Population change metrics correlate with change metrics calculated from dynamic occupancy modelling for a set of 191 common species. We identify four species with neither international nor local threatened status, yet for which bird atlas data suggest alarming declines, and two species with threatened status for which our metrics suggest could be reconsidered. A standardised approach to deciding the conservation status of a species is useful so that charismatic or flagship species do not receive disproportionate attention, although ultimately conservation status of any species must always be a consultative process.

19 citations


Cites methods from "Preliminary summary of changes in b..."

  • ...This information has been used to examine issues of conservation interest, including the influence on birds of climate change (Walther and Niekerk 2014); identification of non-climatic drivers of range change (Péron and Altwegg 2015a) and changes in timing of migration (Bussière et al. 2015), as…...

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The number of Cape cormorants breeding in South Africa decreased by nearly 50% from approximately 107 000 pairs in 1977-1981 to 57 000 pairs between the Orange River estuary and Dassen Island.
Abstract: Numbers of Cape cormorants Phalacrocorax capensis breeding in South Africa decreased by nearly 50% from approximately 107 000 pairs in 1977–1981 to 57 000 pairs in 2010–2014. Although four colonies had >10 000 pairs in 1977–1981, there was just one such colony in 2010–2014. Almost all the decrease occurred after the early 1990s off north-west South Africa, between the Orange River estuary and Dassen Island. South of this, the number breeding in the two periods was stable, with some colonies being formed or growing rapidly in the 2000s. The proportion of South Africa’s Cape cormorants that bred south of Dassen Island increased from 35% in 1977–1981 to 66% in 2010–2014, with the opposite situation observed in the north-west. This matched a shift to the south and east in the distributions of two of the Cape cormorant’s main prey species, anchovy Engraulis encrasicolus and sardine Sardinops sagax. In 2014, an apparent scarcity of prey in the north-west resulted in Cape cormorants attempting to take bait from ...

19 citations


Cites background from "Preliminary summary of changes in b..."

  • ...Cape cormorants had the most severe decrease in atlas-reporting rates of any bird species in South Africa between 1987–1991 and 2007–2014 (Underhill and Brooks 2014)....

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References
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Journal Article
TL;DR: The first Southern African Bird Atlas Project was launched in 1986 and gathered bird distribution data from six countries of southern Africa and the atlas concept has been extended to frogs, reptiles, spiders and butterflies; a second bird atlas started in 2007 and will facilitate knowledge of the impact of environmental change on birds.
Abstract: The first Southern African Bird Atlas Project was launched in 1986 and gathered bird distribution data from six countries of southern Africa. The project culminated with the publication of The Atlas of Southern African Birds in 1997. The database generated by the project, seven million bird distribution records, has been widely used by four groups: environmental consultants (for example, to locate electricity transmission lines), conservationists (planning conservation strategies), research scientists (especially macro-ecologists and biogeographers) and birders (ecotourism materials). By 2007, the database had spawned 50 research publications and eight Ph.D.s and master's degrees. These products are a tribute to the more than 5000 'citizen scientists', who gathered the bulk of the data. The atlas concept has been extended to frogs, reptiles, spiders and butterflies; a second bird atlas started in 2007 and will, for example, facilitate knowledge of the impact of environmental change on birds. The South African National Biodiversity Institute is playing a lead role in initiating these new projects.

53 citations


"Preliminary summary of changes in b..." refers background in this paper

  • ...The first Southern Afr Bird Atlas Project (SABAP1 1987–1991; Harrison 1992; Harrison et al. 1997, 2008) and the second Southern African Bird Atlas Project (SABAP2: July 2007−ongoing) opportunity to study how the ranges of species have changed (Harebottle et al. 2007; Loftie-Eaton 2014).…...

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It is found that swallows are now leaving northern parts of South Africa 8 days earlier than they did 20 years ago, and so shortened their stay in areas where they previously stayed the longest, adding to scarce evidence for phenology shifts in the Southern Hemisphere.
Abstract: Many migratory bird species, including the barn swallow (Hirundo rustica), have advanced their arrival date at Northern Hemisphere breeding grounds, showing a clear biotic response to recent climate change. Earlier arrival helps maintain their synchrony with earlier springs, but little is known about the associated changes in phenology at their non-breeding grounds. Here, we examine the phenology of barn swallows in South Africa, where a large proportion of the northern European breeding population spends its non-breeding season. Using novel analytical methods based on bird atlas data, we show that swallows first arrive in the northern parts of the country and gradually appear further south. On their north-bound journey, they leave South Africa rapidly, resulting in mean stopover durations of 140 days in the south and 180 days in the north. We found that swallows are now leaving northern parts of South Africa 8 days earlier than they did 20 years ago, and so shortened their stay in areas where they previously stayed the longest. By contrast, they did not shorten their stopover in other parts of South Africa, leading to a more synchronized departure across the country. Departure was related to environmental variability, measured through the Southern Oscillation Index. Our results suggest that these birds gain their extended breeding season in Europe partly by leaving South Africa earlier, and thus add to scarce evidence for phenology shifts in the Southern Hemisphere.

47 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
09 May 2014-PLOS ONE
TL;DR: Data from two long-term citizen science projects were used to examine the status and ecology of a Red List species, the Secretarybird Sagittarius serpentarius (Vulnerable), in South Africa, suggesting that the Secretarybirds population decreased across much of South Africa between the two atlas projects.
Abstract: Data from two long-term citizen science projects were used to examine the status and ecology of a Red List species, the Secretarybird Sagittarius serpentarius (Vulnerable), in South Africa. The first phase of the Southern African Bird Atlas Project operated from 1987 until 1992, and the second phase began in 2007. The Coordinated Avifaunal Roadcounts (CAR) project began in 1993 and by 1998 had expanded to cover much of the south-eastern half of the country. Data submitted up until April 2013 were used. A new method of comparing reporting rates between atlas projects was developed. Changing reporting rates are likely to reflect changes in abundance; in this instance the data suggest that the Secretarybird population decreased across much of South Africa between the two atlas projects, with a widespread important decrease in the Kruger National Park. Habitat data from the CAR project were analysed to gain insight into the ecology of the species. Secretarybirds tended to avoid transformed habitats across much of the area covered by the CAR project. In the winter rainfall region of the Western Cape, which is characterised by heavily transformed fynbos vegetation, at least 50% of Secretarybirds recorded were in transformed environments. This implies that in the Fynbos biome, at least, Secretarybirds have adapted to transformed environments to some degree. However, in the rest of the country it is likely that habitat loss, largely through widespread bush encroachment but also through agriculture, afforestation, and urbanisation, is a major threat to the species. The methods developed here represent a new approach to analysing data from long-term citizen science projects, which can provide important insights into a species' conservation status and ecology.

29 citations

Journal Article
TL;DR: This paper introduces SCI searching methods by manual and online, and some examples were given and discussed according the work experience.
Abstract: The more institutes and universities pay attention to search SCI to demonstrate citation of documents indexed by SCI How many documents included in SCI are used for evaluating academic performance This paper introduce SCI searching methods by manual and online Some examples were given and discussed according the work experience

8 citations


"Preliminary summary of changes in b..." refers background in this paper

  • ...Caveats to the interpretation of reporting rates were discussed in detail by Harrison and Underhill (1997); nevertheless there is overwhelming evidence that reporting rates are monotonically related to abundance, but non-linearly (eg Harrison and Navarro 1994; Griffioen 2001)....

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Journal Article
TL;DR: In this article, the authors explain the changes in bird distribution and reporting rates between two projects for the Pienaarsrivier Quarter Degree Square (PDQS) project.
Abstract: This paper attempts to explain the changes in bird distribution and reporting rates between the two projects for the Pienaarsrivier Quarter Degree Square

6 citations