New Zealand Bird Atlas 2019-2024

General birdwatching discussion, help with bird identification, and all other things relating to wild birds and birding in NZ that don't fit in one of the other forums.
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Adam C
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Re: New Zealand Bird Atlas 2019-2024

Postby Adam C » Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:52 pm

Cheers Patrick.
“Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.”

Samuel Ullman
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Nikki McArthur
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Re: New Zealand Bird Atlas 2019-2024

Postby Nikki McArthur » Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:55 am

Hi all,

Many of you may have already caught up with this through other channels, but Landcare Research have just published a major study identifying a link between climate warming and range contractions in a number of our endemic forest bird species:

https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/climate-news/114238752/native-birds-becoming-confined-to-higher-altitudes-by-climate-and-pests

This work was made possible thanks to the existence of Birds New Zealand's two Atlas of Bird Distribution in New Zealand datasets, so it is a great example of how the efforts of hundreds of citizen scientists can provide us with novel insights into the mechanisms of bird declines in New Zealand, and in turn inform future conservation action.

This is exactly the reason why Birds New Zealand has committed to running a third New Zealand Bird Atlas, to update our picture of the national and regional-scale patterns of bird occupancy in New Zealand, and to extend our existing time series to allow us to describe the changes in bird distribution that have occurred in New Zealand over the past 45 years.

The New Zealand Bird Atlas has got off to a terrific start, with 5,339 complete checklists now having been submitted from 859 grid squares. At this rate, we're on track to compile a dataset of some 214,000 checklists containing around 1.7 million individual bird observations over the five-year timeframe of this project.

However, to sustain this effort, we need your help! If you haven't yet had the chance to get involved, we hope you'll consider joining us in contributing to one of New Zealand's most significant citizen science projects. Visit https://birdatlas.co.nz/ to find out more about how to get involved.

Best wishes,
Nikki, Patrick, Dan, Sam and Mike
Jan
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Re: New Zealand Bird Atlas 2019-2024

Postby Jan » Sat Jul 20, 2019 11:14 am

I understood that whio don't actually need fast-flowing upland streams and once existed happily in the lowlands. Maybe it was when the lowland rivers were cleaner and colder after the glacial retreat 10.000 yrs ago and with increased warming and pollution their food supply is now only available in upland waters? I've yet to read the report in full.
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David Riddell
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Re: New Zealand Bird Atlas 2019-2024

Postby David Riddell » Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:22 am

I remember nearly 40 years ago rafting down the Motu River, it had been a very dry summer and all the upland streams that the blue ducks normally occupied had very little water in them. All the way down the main river channel there were large numbers of ducks that we heard had migrated out of the tributaries, inflating the numbers above what would normally have been seen. That included the final day, where the river had emerged from the hills and was flowing quite gently through farmland with only the occasional riffle or very small rapids section. True, it's only one anecdotal observation, but it seemed to me then that blue ducks could quite readily occupy lowland rivers - maybe they're marginal habitat, but if mammalian predators could be removed we may see these birds returning to such places on a more permanent basis.
Jan
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Re: New Zealand Bird Atlas 2019-2024

Postby Jan » Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:46 am

That's very interesting, David and thanks for the info. It's what I was trying to get at and I will see if I can access the full report rather than the stuff article which is a little headliney and click bait like. In places where Whio are bred in captivity round Christchurch, like Peacock Springs and Willowbank [where I saw them once], the water in their enclosures does move, but not like a torrent in the mountains.
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kengeorge
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Re: New Zealand Bird Atlas 2019-2024

Postby kengeorge » Fri Aug 02, 2019 9:02 am

Is there any easy way of having an Atlas view page visible where the grid squares are overlaid on an actual map? I can see the page where the grid square names are visible in my area (BT49, BT50,BT51 etc) but it would be helpful to see those grid squares overlaying a map of the area. That way I could see squares that are being surveyed regularly but adjacent squares which need a bit of work done, and target the squares where there is little coverage.
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Nikki McArthur
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Re: New Zealand Bird Atlas 2019-2024

Postby Nikki McArthur » Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:50 am

Hi Ken,

There's a few ways in which you can view the Atlas grid overlaid onto a map:

1. The Atlas effort map https://ebird.org/atlasnz/effortmap displays the grid overlaid onto a map of New Zealand, displaying the cumulative atlasing effort that has gone into each square to date. The map is fully interactive, so you can zoom in and out to display more or less detail. You can also switch between various map options, including satellite imagery, street map and terrain/topo map options. If you click your mouse in any one of the Atlas grid squares, a little box will pop up providing you with a summary of the total survey effort that has accumulated in that square, the number of species that have been recorded etc.

2. As the effort map slowly colours in over time, it'll become harder and harder to use this map to see underlying habitat or landscape features within grid squares. One way to overcome this is to create a species map in the Atlas eBird portal (such as this one for fantail: https://ebird.org/atlasnz/map/nezfan1), and zoom in as far as you need to, to see the level of detail that you'd like to in each square.

3. For those who are a bit more technologically savvy, it's also possible to download a copy of the Atlas grid into Google Earth or google maps, so that you can explore the grid, or create your own field maps, free of the clutter of any effort or bird observation data. The Atlas handbook (https://birdatlas.co.nz/assets/dc2b79d2d0/New-Zealand-Bird-Atlas-Handbook-version-2.pdf) contains detailed instructions on how to do this.

4. For those who prefer more paper-based options, we've also created a series of 3,229 topographical maps, one for each Atlas grid square. These can be downloaded from Google Drive, by clicking on this link: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1fNPmZYaf_CJCR0yngvgZzOtwJae7pxAs

Let us know if one of these options does the trick for you!
Cheers,
Nikki
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kengeorge
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Re: New Zealand Bird Atlas 2019-2024

Postby kengeorge » Sat Aug 03, 2019 9:39 am

Thanks Nikki, for all surveyors, I think that grid/map overlay tool is one of the most useful tools in the Atlasing kit. I'll certainly be consulting it regularly when planning a day out Atlasing; the colour shading is also an excellent feature giving a good indication as to how much attention each square has had. Already I can see at a glance which squares in my home patch (Golden Bay) have had no surveying done at all- top end of the Aorere Valley, the GB end of the Heaphy Track, Whanganui Inlet, both ends of the Kaituna etc, and which area squares have had good coverage (the areas within a 2km radius of the local birder's homes....and the good cafes). What more can I say? Cheers Nikki.
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Neil Fitzgerald
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Re: New Zealand Bird Atlas 2019-2024

Postby Neil Fitzgerald » Mon Aug 05, 2019 9:34 am

Prior to the launch of the atlas project there was request for feedback via Birds NZ. I spent half a day going over the document circulated and gave feedback to local rep to pass on. I never heard anything back, which is a bit disappointing.
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kengeorge
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Re: New Zealand Bird Atlas 2019-2024

Postby kengeorge » Mon Aug 05, 2019 10:36 am

Hi Neil, I think it's a system that you need to use for a while before some of the features and questions about it fully reveal themselves. I like the grid map feature as above, I also like that it blends in seamlessly with my previous eBird records, so something like generating (for instance) personal yearly reports works perfectly with the system combining your pre-Atlas start date records with the post Atlas records. I also like the side bar Explore feature which shows who is seeing what in your local area in more or less real time, so if Steve Wood comes across a Lammergeier sitting on a farm fencepost in Richmond, we'll have the chance to hike it over there for a look (only joking...)

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