Citizen Science

Overview

Bird watching

APLORI welcomes and encourages citizen participation in bird and biodiversity conservation. We currently do this through the Nigeria Bird Atlas Project (NiBAP). The NiBAP was launched in December 2015 and seeks to map the distribution of Nigeria’s birds and describe their natural history with the help of volunteer members of the public (YOU)! This means that we want you to help record and report sightings and observations of birds, along with their location anywhere in Nigeria! We need to know where birds are if we want to conserve them. This distribution information can therefore be used to take real action for birds and biodiversity conservation in Nigeria!

Volunteering for the Nigeria Bird Atlas Project is a fun and exciting experience as you get to join a community of young, keen and enthusiastic nature and bird watchers. In Nigeria, this community is organised into several Bird Clubs which are located in various parts of the country. Joining a bird club puts you in touch with other bird watchers and club members get to learn from each other and also motivate and encourage each other along this exciting journey of mapping Nigeria’s birds. We recommend that our new members get in touch with the coordinators of the bird clubs in the area nearest to them. The list of bird clubs and contacts for the club coordinators are at the end of this post. Plans are also in place to set up more bird clubs in the areas without one and our new members in those areas will be contacted as soon as a club is launched in your area.

To get started, visit this link: Nigeria bird atlas, create a profile and register. You would obtain your ADU observer number and the login details necessary for you to be able to submit your records to the project’s database. Once you have registered, you can go out and begin atlassing!!!

For this project, Nigeria has been divided into small grid squares called ‘pentads’. Each pentad is about 9 x 9 sqKm and volunteers visit a pentad to record and submit records of birds seen and/or heard within the pentad. There are 11,141 pentads in Nigeria and you can keep track which pentads have been surveyed here: Nigeria bird atlas. WE NEED YOU TO JOIN US AND HELP INCREASE COVERAGE for the project.

For those who are comfortable with bird identification, you can go out for a bird watching trip and record all the bird species that you see and/or hear within the pentad. Record these birds in the order that you encounter them; always note every passing hour from when you start your list and then you can submit your list at the end of your bird watching trip. A bird watching trip that lasts for a minimum of 2 hours and a maximum of 5 days can be submitted as a full protocol list. However, a bird watching trip that lasts for less than 2 hours should be submitted as an ad-hoc protocol list. You can upload your bird list via the web portal when you visit http://nigeriabirdatlas.adu.org.za/ and click on ‘Add a Fieldsheet’ after you login. You can also atlas and submit your records using the mobile phone application called ‘BirdLasser’ which is freely downloadable from the Google Play (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.lasser.birdlasser) and IOS app stores (https://itunes.apple.com/za/app/birdlasser/id896342249?mt=8).

We encourage new members to join the nearest bird club to get started! To find a bird club near you, visit our Facebook page and leave a message starting your desire to join a bird club, your name and location and we will put you in touch with the coordinator for the nearest bird club to you.

VIRTUAL MUSEUM

If you are new to bird watching and would like to embark on this exciting journey to learn to identify birds and get underway with participation in the atlas project, one way is to go out with your camera; photograph any birds you see within the pentad or get coordinates (or the pentad code) for the area where you have photographed the bird and then visit this link http://vmus.adu.org.za/ to submit your bird photos! You do not need to identify the birds; just upload your bird photos and a panel of experts will help you identify the bird and include it in the database using the coordinates that you provide along with your photo. To upload your bird photos for identification and mapping, visit: http://vmus.adu.org.za/, login with your details and then click on BirdPix; then click on ‘Data Upload’; then complete the form and upload your photos. For more information on how to upload your photos to BirdPix for the project, visit Slide share.