Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP7

Bird Atlas Result In Brief

Project ID: 327545
Funded under: FP7-PEOPLE
Country: Denmark

Watching birds in Kenya

An EU team revived a 1980s Kenyan bird survey and recording system with the help of hundreds of citizen-scientist birders who supplied around 63 000 ornithological observations. To aid rapid data capture and analysis, researchers created an Android app, providing a powerful tool for conservation.
Watching birds in Kenya
The avian atlas prepared by ornithologists in Kenya around 30 years ago served as a baseline for a similar, but more spatially detailed contemporary study. Comparison of the two periods shows long-term change, helping with identification of conservation priorities.

The EU-funded BIRD ATLAS (The compilation of a second generation 'web-based' ornithological atlas for Kenya) project aimed to conduct a second bird study at finer resolution. Since field studies are time-consuming and labour-intensive, the project utilised a citizen-scientist approach. A niche modelling analysis focused on key species in particular categories, such as top predators, threatened species, and habitat specialists. The study further proposed an interactive web platform to share the information.

The team, including over 500 citizen-scientists, surveyed 337 grid squares, and contributed nearly 63000 bird-observation records. Around 118 citizens were still actively submitting records at the project's conclusion in 2015. Data were collated via the project's website.

Researchers created a new mapping application to be used on Android mobile devices. The app helps with locating particular grid squares, and automates lists of bird species for each.

Study members coordinated community involvement via a Facebook group. The team also established a regional ambassadors’ programme to help coordinate efforts in each region and to facilitate vetting of the bird map.

The project also provided its researchers with training in niche modelling techniques.

Other outputs included newspaper and magazine articles. Researchers anticipate several peer-reviewed publications as well.

BIRD ATLAS yielded data about long-term trends in Kenya's bird populations. The information supports conservation initiatives and decision-making, thereby increasing effectiveness.

Related information

Keywords

Bird atlas, Kenya, conservation, citizen scientists, niche modelling
Record Number: 181095 / Last updated on: 2016-04-22
Domain: IT, Telecommunications