I realise that the delays in sending out the Atlas kits, and the lack of a
big national launch of the Atlas project, have caused a little confusion.
After talking to the Atlas project people, I can give you a little bit more
information and, I hope, reassure you the data you are recording now will be
incorporated in the database.
There has been a lot of effort going into trying to get the record forms
right. There are space and format limitations on forms that can be
digitally scanned, and compromises have to be made with regard to ease of
use and the amount of information collected. Not everyone will be 100%
happy with the results, but there was quite a lot of field testing and
several modifications before the final version was arrived at.
The three types of search are 1) 2 ha, 2) Area, and 3) Incidental. The
chances are that much of what you are recording now will slot easily into
the Area Search category. With this you need to search (watch, record, see
etc) for at least 20 minutes, and note whether the area was within either
500 metres or 5 kilometres of your central point (central point = site
location to as high degree of accuracy as possible). The search should be
completed within one week or over one calendar month.
The kits should be delivered to us here from the printers on Wednesday (26
Aug) or Thursday (27 Aug), and be posted out to around 800 addresses on
Thurs-Fri (27-28 Aug). So you should receive yours sometime next week (31
Aug - 4 Sep) at the latest. Data from the whole of August (and earlier,
come to that) will be accepted on the forms.
There will be no single national launch, but a series of staggered
state/regional ones over the next few months. The first may be VIC/TAS,
followed by NSW/ACT, but they are awareness arousing exercises only and make
no difference as to when you may start atlassing.
What is certain is that, in the early stages of the project, there will be
many queries raised about the fine details and interpretations of atlassing.
You may direct these to the Atlas email address <> but
please remember that this is already a big project and one that is bound to
get several times bigger in the next few years. When it becomes obvious
what the most Frequently Asked Questions or problems are, I (or the Atlas
team) will try to circulate the answers or solutions as widely as we can -
through the forthcoming Atlas newsletter and to BIRDING-AUS.
And Many Merry Atlassing Adventures to al of us!,
Birds Australia Conservation & Liaison,
Australian Bird Research Centre,
415 Riversdale Road,
Hawthorn East, VIC 3123, Australia.
Tel: (03) 9882 2622. Fax: (03) 9882 2677.
O/s: +61 3 9882 2622. Fax: +61 3 9882 2677.
Web Homepage: http://www.vicnet.net.au/~birdsaus/