BirdPix in KwaZulu-Natal

The first blog of this series of three covered progress with BirdPix in the three “Cape” provinces: Western, Eastern and Northern. The second covered BirdPix progress in the five northern provinces: Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Gauteng, North West and Free State. This third blog deals with BirdPix in KwaZulu-Natal.

KwaZulu-Natal

Species richness per quarter degree grid cell in KwaZulu-Natal for BirdPix
This map shows the number of bird species recorded per quarter degree grid cell in BirdPix in KwaZulu-Natal. The darker the shade, the more species. See the bar on the right.

Species richness in coastal KwaZulu-Natal, and through the Midlands to the foothills of the Drakensberg, is generally impressive. Five grid cells have more than 200 species. These set the standard that we should be aiming at! Another 28 grid cells have between 100 and 200 species. In the northeast, quarter degree grid cell 2729DD Newcastle, with 143 species stands head and shoulders above its neighbours. This was the initiative of citizen scientist Dave Rimmer while he was based there.

Number of species recorded in BirdPix in each quarter degree grid cell in KwaZulu-Natal over past 12 months
This map shows the number of bird species recorded per quarter degree grid cell in BirdPix in KwaZulu-Natal in the past year, since 1 April 2019. The darker the shade of blue, the more species. See the bar on the right. The colour coding is chosen to be different from the previous map, so there is no confusion between them.

Five grid cells have received records for 100 or more species in the past year, and there are another 17 with 50 to 99. This is great because it helps keep the database up-to-date. In the northwest, only two grid cells have received records in the past 12 months.

Date of last BirdPix visit in KwaZulu-Natal
This map shows the date on which each quarter degree grid cell was last visited and had a record uploaded to BirdPix in KwaZulu-Natal. You determine the year from the colour bar on the right, and the month is given inside the grid cell. Blank cells have not got any BirdPix records yet.

The dominant colour on this map is blue. There is lots of dark blue. These quarter degree grid cells have all had 2020 records, in January, February or March! All the light blue grid cells have records from last year, 2019. There is a patch dominated by the shades of green in the northwest, where the last records date from 2018 and earlier years. This should be a focus of attention!

Les Underhill
Les Underhill
Prof Les Underhill has been Director of the Animal Demography Unit (ADU) at the University of Cape Town since it started in 1991. Although citizen science in biology is Les’s passion, his academic background is in mathematical statistics. He was awarded his PhD in abstract multivariate analyses in 1973 at UCT and what he likes to say about his PhD is that he solved a problem that no one has ever had. He soon grasped that this was not the field to which he wanted to devote his life, so he retrained himself as an applied statistician, solving real-world problems.