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Editorial

ADU page in African Birdlife, July –August 2014 

ADU page in African Birdlife, July-August 2014

Les Underhill
2014-07-07

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2014-10-10 Les Underhill 
Awesome new Virtual Museum feature: how to find the gaps in coverage 

VM Gap Analysis

This news item explains how to find the gaps in coverage in ADU Virtual Museum projects. On the Virtual Museum website, first choose (from the left hand side menu) the project you are interested in finding the gaps for. Then, from this menu, choose "Maps" and click on the tab "Gap Analysis" and then on "Request summary." A map like the one on the left appears. The grid generates the Quarter Degree Grid Cells. Those with data are coloured. Those without data are blank. Click on the grid cell you are interested in. A Google map like the one on the right appears. This grid cell is 2824DA and covers part of Kimberley, and a section of the Vaal River. It is the basic road map that appears first; I clicked "Satellite" at the top right corner to get this view.

If a grid cell has records, then a species list for the Quarter Degree Grid Cell appears under the map.

This is the Gap Analysis for LacewingMAP. It is little short of astonishing that this new section of the Virtual Museum already has records for 47 Quarter Degree Grid Cells, 2.3% of the region.

This is Version 1 of the ADU Virtual Museum Gap Analysis. It will be extended to cover Africa, and be extended to be able to find the gaps for specific time periods, for example, gaps since 2000.

 
 

 
2014-08-08 Megan Loftie-Eaton 
FLUTTERBY FRIDAY is here!  

TGIFF - Thank Goodness it's FLUTTERBY FRIDAY! This stunning butterfly is a Little Pansy (Junonia sophia) -- the Little Pansy is a butterfly in the Nymphalidae family. There are two subspecies of this beautiful butterfly, namely: -- Junonia sophia sophia (Senegal, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, Nigeria, Cameroon) -- Junonia sophia infracta Butler, 1888 (Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, eastern Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, western and central Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Malawi, northern Zambia)

The Little Pansy prefers forest and savanna habitat. The larvae feed on Paulowilhelmia sclerochiton, Hypoestes verticillaris, Brillantaisa lamium, Sclerochiton paulowilhelmina, Asystasia, Barleria, Justicia, and Ruellia species.

Reference: http://www.atbutterflies.com/nymphalidae.htm

 
 

 
2014-07-18 Dieter Oschadleus 
Weaver nests with long entrance tubes 
phown 5189 phown 1028 phown 5320 phown 11499 phown 5338 phown 8416

Several weaver species regularly build nests with long entrance tubes, although some individual nests have shorter tubes:
Baya Weaver phown 7442
Black-throated Weaver
Nelicourvi Weaver
Dark-backed Weaver
Black-necked Weaver
Spectacled Weaver
Gola Malimbe
Cassin's Malimbe
Red-bellied Malimbe
Ibadan Malimbe
Rachel's Malimbe
Red-vented Malimbe
Red-headed Weaver

Often long tubed nests are built by solitary, monogamous weavers. This group of weavers usually consists of a pair and they build the nest together. In some malimbes, a group of birds help build a nest. The long tube probably reduces predation but does not stop some predators. In the polygnous weavers it is usually the male that builds (although the female lines an accepted nest) and males want to build many nests in a breeding season, rather than spending energy on building nests with long tubes.

Thanks to the observers who submitted these records! Please record and submit your record of weaver nests to PHOWN (PHOtos of Weaver Nests) via the Virtual Museum upload site.  

 

 
2014-07-08 Les Underhill 
Greater Kruger National Park Challenge – 2014 – the mid-year progress report says "Outstanding" 

Greater KNP The Second Southern African Bird Atlas Project has selected a few key areas for special annual attention. This reports on excellent progress with the Greater Kruger National Park Challenge for 2014.

Although the Greater Kruger National Park Challenge was set up at the start of 2014, we have not made a big deal of it.

This challenge supplements the annual atlasing effort on the Four Degree region, centred on the Johannesburg and Pretoria conurbation. This constitutes the Greater Gauteng challenge area and it is important because about 30% of South Africa’s population lives in it. The Kruger National Park and its environs are important because this is the premier conservation region in southern Africa. In the Greater Gauteng area, we need to monitor intensively because we fear that development will impact the birds. In the Kruger National Park, we need to monitor intensively because we hope that there will be little change to bird species composition through time. If there are changes, then it is due to causes other than “development.”

The underpinning paradigm for the Greater Kruger National Park Challenge is the same as for the Four Degrees region. We aim to go as wide as we can (ie to get full protocol checklists from as many pentads as possible) and we aim to go as high as we can (ie to build the stack of checklists on each pentad as high as possible).

We defined the region for the Greater Kruger National Park Challenge as every pentad east of 31°E and north of 26°S (and inside the South Africa border with Mozambique). This includes quite a lot of territory outside the park, but this is important because it enables “inside-outside” comparisons to be made. See the map below. There are a total of 671 pentads in the region. In 2013, atlasers visited 326 of the 671 pentads (48%) and accumulated a total of 1154 checklists. So for 2014, we decided that aiming to visit 350 pentads, and making 1250 checklists were realistic targets

How has Team SABAP2 Greater Kruger National Park fared? They have done remarkably well. By 8 July they had visited 283 pentads (that is 80.9% of the target). It looks as if we will be able to adjust the coverage target upwards! Already, 680 checklists (54.4% of the target) have been submitted. Just beyond the halfway stage of the year, this as pect the challenge is on track.

Atlasers, if you visit this region, please become part of Team SABAP2 Greater Kruger National Park, and help to monitor bird populations in one of Africa’s most important protected areas. SABAP2 is unique in being able to provide a broad-brush monitoring of all bird species across this large area.

 
 

 
2014-07-06 Les Underhill 
Two-thirds coverage in 2014 of the Four Degrees of Greater Gauteng reached on 5 July 

66.67% coverage on 5 July for the Four Degrees

Celebration time for the Second Southern African Bird Atlas Project! It is only a couple of days after mid-year. But 'Team SABAP2 Greater Gauteng' have already achieved two-thirds coverage of the Four Degree Squares defined as Greater Gauteng. This is the area inside the Red Square on the 2014-only coverage map. So there are almost six months left to tackle the final one-third, inevitably the more inaccessible and challenging pentads to reach.

In detailed numbers, 384 of the 576 pentads in this region have already had a full protocol checklist made in 2014. We also set ourselves the target of an average of six checklists per pentad for the year. That is 6 × 576 = 3456 checklists. Team SABAP2 Greater Gauteng is already at 1848, 53.5% of the target, just nicely ahead of schedule.

Three pentads are shaded PURPLE – astonishingly this means that they already have more than 50 checklists. Another 11 are RED, and they have more than 25 checklists. Is this really a celebration. Yes, it is, and it is a reason for celebration because the statisticians who analyse these data thrive on large sample sizes. Many of the little biases that bedevil analyses with small samples are averaged out by large sample sizes. These large samples will enable us to detect changes in species composition more easily.

This is the area where stuff is going to happen. 30% of South Africa’s population lives and works and plays in the Red Square. The development pressure is huge and is going to continue to be huge. The pressure on biodiversity is going to be huge, and it is only as we have lots of good solid quantitative data to back up the conservation agenda do we have a chance of mitigating the impact of development.

The map also includes a half-degree broad band around the edge of the Red Square. Please don’t neglect this region. Some of it does not yet have four checklists in total since SABAP2 began seven years ago.

 
 

 
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