Sunday, February 28, 2010

Part of a team

The beauty of a breeding bird atlas is that ANYONE can participate and EVERYONE can build their skill set. Whether you are simply documenting a robin nesting under your eaves trough or a hawk nest you spotted on the road, or submitting a photograph of a species you can’t identify, or signing up to cover a grid square (20 hour commitment) or maybe conducting point counts or going wilderness camping with a supplied recording device, we need YOU!

The Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas has 14 administrative regions. You can view a map of the regions below or go to: http://www.birdatlas.mb.ca/mbdata/regions.jsp?lang=en for a larger version and a list regional coordinators whom you can contact for more information or how, when and where to atlas and to sign up for a square.

And, if you are not from Manitoba, we would be delighted to invite you to come here to participate in this conservation initiative and to enjoy a truly remarkable wilderness experience. Anyone can participate as an individual or as part of a team. In fact, we want to get everyone involved as part of the largest team of all – people who care about the environment and who are actively engaged in protecting their environment in all sorts of ways. If looking for birds in prairie grasslands or experience the enormity and richness of the remote boreal forest appeals to you, please get in touch and we will provide logistical support and information. You may even be able to attend some of our training workshops or special events to learn more about “atlassing” for birds.

If you cannot come to Manitoba, there are currently four Breeding Bird Atlas projects ongoing in Canada. In addition to the Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas, you can look at:

British Columbia http://www.birdatlas.bc.ca/english/index.jsp
Maritime Provinces http://www.mba-aom.ca/english/index.html
Qu├ębec http://www.atlas-oiseaux.qc.ca/index_fr.jsp

Declines in bird populations

A short while ago, the Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas Coordinator, Christian Artuso, was asked to write an article on the decline of songbirds for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Here is his assessment of the situation: http://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/commentary/fast-facts-manitobas-silent-spring
You can also download a pdf of that same article by clicking on the above link, scrolling down to the bottom and then clicking under where it says “Download Related Material”

Hope you enjoy this article!
Canada Warbler - Threatened, COSEWIC 2008. Photo by Christian Artuso.

The Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas

Welcome to the Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas!

This is an exciting new project to engage as many people as possible in environmental monitoring. We firmly believe that by getting involved in the process of monitoring ecosystems that people will learn to better appreciate the environment and better understand the amazing biodiversity that exist right in our own backyard.

The Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas will give you a chance to be part of documenting the distribution and abundance of all bird species that breed in Manitoba. Over five years (2010 – 2014), we will put together the most comprehensive data set on Manitoba’s birds ever assembled; a data set with numerous conservation applications and with enormous power to inform our conservation decisions and priority setting exercises. To do this we, we need to cover every corner of this province and to do that we need you!

If you’d like to get involved, please visit http://birdatlas.mb.ca/ . You can also stay tuned to this blog, or become a follower. We will document the progress of the Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas here, with a liberal sprinkle of photographs and images!