The size of the impending atlas scale is really
important and I believe will really highlight the plight of many species
especially in this area. Even present or absent will identify areas of high or
low species diversity and if coupled with habitat will further enhance our
knowledge and ability to protect species.
In our area, Parkes NSW the previous atlas in
60" gave a distorted view of species distribution within the 60"
blocks. In a lot of cases, the species was found in only one small area within
the block. The smaller the block the better and I've no problem with 1km blocks,
just that it could get pretty boring getting the same species in a lot of the
farmland or further west. Having already done some birding using the 1km blocks,
in the local area, the hardest part because of the lack of topographical
features on maps, was being 100pc sure you hadn't recorded a species inside or
outside a block. Especially in the case of WTEagles which are seen in this flat
country from a long way off. What the 1km block did do is identify species to
particular habitat or plant community and in some blocks to actual plant
species, when in flower.
It also established the effect, clearing has had
and really made me convinced that some of the dooms day predictions maybe
hitting the mark. Species such as fairy-wrens and their relationship to
undergrowth density really showed their plight and their status, would change
very quickly in a particular patch, just by the stocking rates. All terribly
The NSW 1:50,000 are marked in 2" around the outer edge,
but you need to draw a line connecting the top to bottom. These are also
available on CD-Rom topographical maps for all of Australia, maybe Birds
Australia could do a deal.
I consider that we should give it a go at what ever scale will
give the most benefit and allow birdwatching to be enjoyable as a hobby and it
does become more enjoyable, when you have a mission