13 June 2011

Breeding Bird Records Required - Atlas of Breeding Birds of Arabia

13/06/2011 – ABBA Breeding Bird Records Required

Mike Jennings the coordinator of the Atlas of Breeding Birds of Arabia, which was published in July 2010, has sent the following request to all birders active in Arabia.

Although the ABBA atlas has been published, the project continues and is definitely not finished. I am still actively collecting information on bird distribution, habitat changes and species ecology in Arabia for the period since July 2010. The project will also of course gratefully receive information relating to the older period not previously reported. There are detailed instructions for contributors if you wish to contribute records to the project, and I hope you will consider taking part during 2011 and maybe future years. Apart from the instructions there is a list of breeding species, details of the Breeding Evidence Code and the distribution of the ABBA grid squares, available. There is also a blank reporting form for you to reproduce and use as well as an example of a completed report form for your guidance. If anyone would like to help in the ABBA project and needs the forms or anything else please let Mike know at <ArabianBirds AT dsl.pipex.com>

I intend in due course to completely revamp the database going over to a more interactive windows system which will offer more opportunities for people to share the data collected for their own purposes. There will also be a new website as the old website has not been updated since about 2002. Phoenix will of course continue. This year is a bit of a halfway house with tinkering to some of the aspects of the existing system. For instance the breeding bird list has been updated to Howard and Moore order, more recent English names are used and new taxonomic order codes have been allocated to all species.

Because birds are very mobile in range and population and are currently subject to a number of pressures in Arabia, such as climate change, habitat change and conservation pressures, it is important that changes are documented. I am seeking to collect distribution data each year to up-date information held on common species everywhere in Arabia, to add additional birds discovered breeding in new areas and even new breeding birds for Arabia. If you could let me have a page or two of records from your local area in Arabia, indeed any other areas you visit if this is possible, I can keep the range maps up to date. This will help record changes that can be made available to anyone who needs it, including yourself, as well as encourage publication in Phoenix or for longer papers, Sandgrouse and other scientific journals. I would appreciate it if you could record any breeding details so far this year, then add to them as the 'breediing season' progresses and let me have your final sheets in the summer. Note that remarks against a record can be as long as you like. You can send in hard copies or attach them to an e-mail. Next year you can either complete new report sheets or provide information on changes.

All bird records should be sent to the local bird recorder. The ABBA project seeks to have a good working relationship with all the national and regional recorders in Arabia and I would therefore appreciate it if you could ensure that you copy any reports you send to ABBA to your local recorder. However, recorders are very busy volunteers and therefore a detailed breeding record passed to the recorder may not always find its way to the ABBA database in the same form. Let me know if you are unsure who is your local recorder. Please note that it is not possible to review all the ornithological websites collecting Arabian data or personal blog sites, so records posted on such sites will probably not be picked up by the ABBA project..
 Kentish Plover - Breeding Species in Dhahran
Little Grebe - Breeding Species in Dhahran

Please pass these details to anyone else you think may be interested
Good birding
Thanks for your help
Mike Jennings
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