How to participate


 If you would like to take part in NIBAP and find out more about what is involved follow the steps outlined below. Remember that our protocoll is adobted from the South African Bird Atlas Project, SABAP2. So if South Africa is mention just replace it with Nigeria.

 

 

1. Registering as an observer

   

It is important that you register as an observer as you will require an observer no. in order to submit data to the project. You can register by clicking on the menu to the left.

 

2. How to do

Quick start guide for atlasing.

 

Conducting a field survey

     

Once you have read the instructions, obtained your map(s), planned your routes and have all your necessary equipment (binoculars, GPS (optional), field guides, data sheets, notebooks) you are ready to go out into the field to start collecting data. This is the best way to gain the necessary experience needed to become a seasoned atlaser.

    The standard protocol is as follows:
   

       
  • Spend at least two (2) hours recording as many different species in the pentad by visiting all (or as many different) habitats as possible.

  • Record the species in the order that you see and/or hear them. This will help us gauge which are likely to be the more common species in the pentad.
     
  • Keep a note of the end of each hour during your initial intensive survey. This helps us work out how much effort you put in during each survey and which birds are easier detected than others.
     
  • The maximum survey period for any one pentad is five (5) days. The initial intensive survey should, where possible, take place on day 1 of the five days and you can then add any new species (in the order that you see them) to the list after the initial intensive survey up until the end of the fifth day.  A new survey or checklist should only be started after each five day period for each pentad. Keep track of how much time you spend (to the nearest hour) adding any new species after your initial intensive survey.

 

    Extensions to the standard protocol:

    The following additions have been made to the standard protocol in order to maximise data coverage for the project. They are summarized below - more detailed information can be obtained here.   

       
  • The initial intensive survey period does not have to be continuous (although this is preferred). If you need to exit and re-enter the pentad, or attend a meeting etc. just keep track of each 'hour' of fieldwork.
     
  • You can add species seen prior to your initial intensive survey, e.g. you arrive at a campsite on the Friday night, make a list of species, but only carry out your grid bash on the Saturday, you can add any species not seen on Saturday but seen on Friday to your overall list. In other words, your intensive survey does not necessarily have to take place on Day 1.

  • It is possible to atlas a pentad using a team of observers. The preferred way of doing this is for each team of observers to conduct their own intensive survey and use the longest list from these teams as the base list. Additional species can then be added using the other lists.
     
  • Atlasing in suburbs (or complex pentads) can be daunting but this can also be done using a group-effort approach. Decide on a five day period and nominate one person to do the initial intensive survey (covering all or most of the habitats in the pentad). The other observers keep ordered lists during the five days and any new species can then be added to the main list after the survey period.
     
  • You can also submit ad hoc records. This is where you are unable to spend at least two full hours in the pentad but can make a useful list of species. This includes making an ordered list for five days where no intensive survey can be carried out. You will need to keep track of the hours you spend compiling such a list.

  

  Guidelines to help you maximise your atlas surveys: 

       
  • Try and conduct surveys in the morning, as this is when birds are most active
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  • Surveys should, where possible, be carried out in favourable weather conditions (strong wind, rain and cold temperatures usually keep many birds inactive during most parts of the day)
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  • A fairly good level of bird identification is required so that you are able to maximise the number of records (observations) during your surveys. This is important so that we get the best possible results from the project. Should you want to first improve your bird ID skills many bird clubs run bird identification courses and we encourage you to attend these as often as you can.
    •  
  • Another good way to get to grips with bird identification (and atlas protocols) is to accompany an experienced atlaser during their surveys and learn from their knowledge and skills. This hands-on approach will allow you to see the ins and outs of how an atlas survey is conducted and one can always learn handy tips and advice from your 'mentor'.
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  • Remember the golden rule: IF IN DOUBT, LEAVE IT OUT
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  • Access to certain areas may be limited or restricted. Try and arrange permission beforehand (if possible) to get into these areas. Please excercise strong birding and environmental ethics during your surveys: e.g. do not enter private property without the landowners permission, or disturb nesting birds or damage sensitive vegetation, etc.
    •  
  • Try, where possible, to start your surveys for the same pentad at different points and try and use different routes. This contributes to the species ranking abundance analyses we will do at the end of the project.
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  • Please be aware of your saftey and security. Do not enter an area that looks unsafe, atlas in pairs or in small groups in remote areas and always carry a cell phone with you in case of an emergency.
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  • Lastly - do the best you can and have fun!
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Other observations:

Observation done during non-atlas work or old observations are called Incidental Records and can be added if you click on Ad Incidental Records

   

Capturing and submitting your data


Once you have completed your field surveys you will need to submit the data to the Animal Demography Unit.

       
  • Capture and submit your checklists directly on line using our on-line data submission process. NOTE: You will need to register and login to the SABAP2 website to do this. If you are not registered click here.

    Click on 'Add a Field Sheet', enter the pentad code and date and click on 'Save'. The next screen will take you to the full card where you can add your species. Search for species using the 'search' box and click on 'Add' to add the species to the card. Once you have finished adding all your species, fill in the hourly totals, check all other fields and then click on 'Save to draft' and then click on 'Submit'. 
     
  • If you have any problem contact Talatu, Sam or Ulf, see "About us" here to left for contact information

 

The species list

The species names in the list is following the IOC-list and may therefore differ from what you are used to and from the field guides.

Here is a list of bird names that may differ

In Birds of West Africa

In Database

Scientific name

Long-tailed Cormorant

Reed Cormorant

Phalacrocorax africanus

White-faced Whistling Duck

White-faced Duck

Dendrocygna viduata

European Marsh Harrier

Western Marsh Harrier

Circus aeruginosus

Yellow-throtated Leaflove

Yellow-throated Greenbul

Chlorocichla flavicollis

Coomon Wattle-eye

Brown-throated Wattle-eye

Platysteira cynaea

Long-tailed Glossy Starling

Long-tailed Starling

Lamprotorninis caudatus

Sulphur-breasted Bush-shrike

Orange-breasted Bush-shrike

Telophorus sulfureopectus

Black-winged Red Bishop

Black-winged Bishop

Euplectes hordeaceus

Northern Red Bishop

Orange(Northern Red) Bishop

Euplectes franciscanus

DO NOT ENTER LIKE THIS, see above

Yellow-throated Leaflove

Chlorpsis pawanensis

 

 

 

 

In Birds of West Africa

In Database

Scientific name

Long-tailed Cormorant

Reed Cormorant

Phalacrocorax africanus

White-faced Whistling Duck

White-faced Duck

Dendrocygna viduata

European Marsh Harrier

Western Marsh Harrier

Circus aeruginosus

Yellow-throtated Leaflove

Yellow-throated Greenbul

Chlorocichla flavicollis

Coomon Wattle-eye

Brown-throated Wattle-eye

Platysteira cynaea

Long-tailed Glossy Starling

Long-tailed Starling

Lamprotorninis caudatus

Sulphur-breasted Bush-shrike

Orange-breasted Bush-shrike

Telophorus sulfureopectus

Black-winged Red Bishop

Black-winged Bishop

Euplectes hordeaceus

Northern Red Bishop

Orange(Northern Red) Bishop

Euplectes franciscanus

DO NOT ENTER LIKE THIS

Yellow-throated Leaflove

Chlorpsis pawanensis

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Page served: 28 May 2018
Animal Demography Unit
University of Cape Town