BirdPix in the five northern provinces: Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Gauteng, North West and Free State

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!

Limpopo

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

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.

Number of bird species recorded in Limpopo for BirdPix in the year April 2019 to April 2020
This map shows the number of bird species recorded per quarter degree grid cell in BirdPix in Limpopo 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.

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.

Dates of most recent visits to grid cells in Limpopo for BirdPix
This map shows the date on which each quarter degree grid cell was last visited and had a record uploaded to BirdPix in Limpopo. 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.

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.

Species richness per quarter degree grid cell in Mpumalanga and Gauteng for the BirdPix section of the Virtual Museum
This map shows the number of bird species recorded per quarter degree grid cell in BirdPix in Mpumalanga and Gauteng. The darker the shade, the more species. See the bar on the right.

Number of bird species recorded in Mpumalanga and Gauteng for BirdPix in the year April 2019 to April 2020
This map shows the number of bird species recorded per quarter degree grid cell in BirdPix in Mpumalanga and Gauteng 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.

Dates of most recent visits to grid cells in Mpumalanga and Gauteng for BirdPix
This map shows the date on which each quarter degree grid cell was last visited and had a record uploaded to BirdPix in Mpumalanga and Gauteng. 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.

We’ll write a paragraph for each map as soon as we can.

North West

Species richness per quarter degree grid cell in North West for the BirdPix section of the Virtual Museum
This map shows the number of bird species recorded per quarter degree grid cell in BirdPix in North West. The darker the shade, the more species. See the bar on the right.

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.

Number of bird species recorded in North West for BirdPix in the year April 2019 to April 2020
This map shows the number of bird species recorded per quarter degree grid cell in BirdPix in North West 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.

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.

Dates of most recent visits to grid cells in North West for BirdPix
This map shows the date on which each quarter degree grid cell was last visited and had a record uploaded to BirdPix in North West. 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.

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.

Free State

Species richness per quarter degree grid cell in the Free State for the BirdPix section of the Virtual Museum
This map shows the number of bird species recorded per quarter degree grid cell in BirdPix in the Free State. The darker the shade, the more species. See the bar on the right.

Number of bird species recorded in the Free State for BirdPix in the year April 2019 to April 2020
This map shows the number of bird species recorded per quarter degree grid cell in BirdPix in the Free State 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.
Dates of most recent visits to grid cells in the Free State for BirdPix
This map shows the date on which each quarter degree grid cell was last visited and had a record uploaded to BirdPix in the Free State. 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.
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.

1 Comment

  1. Les, I submitted a collection of over 10 000 species, date and pentad labled photographs to Rene Nevaro. I believe he hasn’t had the capacity to download these to the system, but I think they should have some impact (and I daresay, improvement) on the data that you already have. How many images are there currently in the whole BirdPix archive?

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