The first blog in this series dealt with BirdPix in the three “Cape” provinces. It also had an introduction that won’t be repeated here. All that needs to be said is that BirdPix is really important, and we are wanting to grow the database rapidly. The third blog focuses on KwaZulu-Natal.
This second blog covers BirdPix progress up to 4 April 2020 in the five northern provinces of South Africa: Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Gauteng, North West and Free State. There are three maps for each province, with Mpumalanga and Gauteng plotted together. So that means there is a total of 12 maps. The maps were prepared by Karis Daniels and Itxaso Quintana. Rene Navarro wrote the amazing query that extracts the data. The blog is first published with just the maps, and a paragraph of text for each will be added later!
The top BirdPix grid cell in Limpopo is 2430BD Hoedspruit, with (currently) 428 records and 159 species. 15 grid cells have more than 100 species. There are lots of grid cells with no records, or just a handful of records! Lots of opportunities here to strengthen the BirdPix database.
A lot of the submissions to BirdPix since April 2019 have been from the Kruger National Park, along the eastern edge of Limpopo. But pride of place goes to grid cell 2229AB, which includes the key parts of the Mapungubwe National Park. Overall, this grid cell has 133 records of 97 species, of which this map shows that 73 have been recorded since April 2019.
Please try to make more grid cells in this map dark blue, with 2020 visits. If you are locked down in a grid cell in Limpopo, you can make a valuable contribution to BirdPix from wherever you are.
Mpumalanga and Gauteng
These maps for these two provinces are combined. Gauteng is at the western end of each map.
We’ll write a paragraph for each map as soon as we can.
Coverage of the western half of North West is pretty dismal! This is common to every citizen science project. The reason is that is not an easy area to access. If anyone has photos of birds from here in their personal archives, please upload them to BirdPix. Coverage in the eastern half is more promising. The bar is set by grid cell 2626DC Klerksdorp, where citizen scientist extraordinary Tony Archer, is very active. This grid cell has 1104 records, which cover 220 species.
No species have been recorded in the western half of North West since April 2019. Of the 220 species ever recorded in Tony Archer’s grid cell at Klerksdorp, 151 have been recorded in the past year. Tony has kept refreshing species here.
Many quarter degree grid cells in the eastern half of North West are either dark blue or light blue. That’s encouraging, please keep up the good work.
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. View all posts by Les Underhill →