PHunting season is here. No critter is safe. Citizen scientists are out and about, armed with their cameras, ready to Photo Hunt! (Featured image above by Gregg Darling)
Well done to each and every one of you that went out there camera-slinging for biodiversity conservation! The need for up-to-date species distribution maps is now more critical than ever in light of climate change and global environmental challenges. The future of nature conservation and healthy ecosystems are in our hands. We are all in this together. Citizen science can and does make a major difference for species conservation and to spread awareness of conservation and environmental issues. Engagement with nature is important not just for our well-being, but for our very survival.
Round Two of PHunting Season kicked off on Saturday, 13 November 2021, and ended on midnight of the following Sunday, 21 November 2021. In total, 76 biomappers were scouring their local parks, gardens, towns, and streets for all things crawling, flying, swimming, running, and perching. An amazing total of 2,986 phunting trophies were uploaded to the Virtual Museum. Below is a table summarizing the numbers of records received, per project, in the Virtual Museum for PHunting Round Two. The table is organized by most to least number of records received.
|VM Project||Records Totals|
For BirdPix, the bulk of the records came from South Africa (1163 records), followed by Uganda (119) and Kenya (87). We also received records from Mali, Namibia, Nigeria, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The bird species most recorded? The Egyptian Geese Alopochen aegyptiacus took first place with 22 records, Pied Crow Corvus albus and Hadeda Ibis Bostrychia hagedash tied for second place with 18 records each. All in all 425 different bird species were phunted! This number reflects only the records that have been identified by the expert panel thus far, but our experts make quick work of getting identifications verified.
Nine observers submitted more than 100 records on African biodiversity. The Top Ten PHunters for Round Two are listed in the table below:
|Observer Name||Records Total|
|3||Corrie du Toit||170|
|4||Andre & Bets Kok||166|
|9||Zenobia van Dyk||101|
OdonataMAP, the Atlas of African Dragonflies and Damselflies, received records from Mali, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, South Africa, and Zambia. From the records that have been identified to date, 94 different species were recorded.
The Palmiet Sprite Pseudagrion furcigerum was most frequently recorded during this second round of phunting with 50 records, followed by Cape Skimmer Orthetrum capicola (37) and Broad Scarlet Crocothemis erythraea (36). Corrie du Toit was the top OdonataMAPper, managing to submit 125 records in total for PHunting Round Two. Hesmarie Els was close on her heels with 119 records, followed by Diana Russell on 58. Well done!
LepiMAPpers made a special effort during the second round of photo hunting, snapping and mapping a total of 501 butterflies and moths. Phunting trophies from all over Africa were uploaded to the LepiMAP section of the Virtual Museum. For South Africa, most of the records came from KwaZulu-Natal Province (113 records), followed by the Western Cape (77) and Eastern Cape on 41 records.
From the 501 records submitted, the expert panel has identified 197 different species thus far! The little African Grass Blue Zizeeria knysna knysna was photo hunted most frequently with 13 records. Followed by the Citrus Swallowtail Papilio demodocus demodocus on 10 records and the Painted Lady Vanessa cardui (9 records).
There are many other sections of the Virtual Museum and we encourage you to keep an eye out for these critters too. We are mapping everything from scorpions to frogs to mammals. So what are you waiting for? Grab your camera (or cell phone) and get snapping and mapping!