Atlassing (systematically recording and submitting sightings to create a map of species distribution and abundance) is a way that birders and birding can contribute to scientific research that benefits the conservation of birds and their habitats.
The first Southern African Bird Atlas Project (SABAP) took place from 1987–1991 and involved data (a grand total of 147 605 checklists and 7.3 million records of bird distribution) contributed mainly by birders.
The second bird atlas, SABAP2, began on 1 July 2007 and is still ongoing. Whereas being a SABAP (1) atlasser involved a painstaking process of reading maps, manually recording species lists, and submitting hard copy ‘field cards’, playing a part in SABAP2 is as simple as logging one’s sightings on BirdLasser, and submitting these via the App as either ‘ad hoc’ or ‘full protocol’ cards. For further information please see the links below. There are also several other research projects (causes) one can participate in via BirdLasser: e.g. Heronry MAP Africa, Southern Ground-Hornbill, Yellow-billed Oxpecker.
BLNG encourages its members to be active citizen scientists by using BirdLasser to submit their sightings data to SABAP2, and participating in outings (atlas bashes) aimed at providing data for pentads with low or no coverage. Courses and camps are held to help develop members’ ID and atlassing skills.
Each year a BLNG atlas challenge for a chosen target region is hosted on BirdLasser where our atlassers can track their sightings for the year in friendly competition with other members.
BirdLife Northern Gauteng is affiliated to BirdLife South Africa (BLSA) which is the leading bird conservation organisation in South Africa. As a club, we actively support the conservation initiatives undertaken by BLSA whenever and wherever possible. We encourage our members to become direct members of BLSA, as well as to consider becoming BLSA Conservation League donors.
Over the years we have undertaken our own conservation projects with funding from our reserves and membership income.
We are involved in supporting the following conservation projects: