Atlas of Victorian Wildlife & avifauna

To: "" <>
Subject: Atlas of Victorian Wildlife & avifauna
From: "Dave Torr" <>
Date: Wed, 5 Apr 2006 10:55:41 +1000

I think part of the issue for many birders is one of timing - the records in
the Victorian Atlas (and those in the BA Atlas and the records collected by
BOCA in their "Unusual sightings") are published many months after they are
reported and validated.

The validation serves an important function of course because these records
are used for scientific purposes.

However, many birders want to know NOW if a rare bird has been seen
somewhere, or want to look at recent sightings at a given location (to
decide whether to visit this location)  and can presumably make their own
judgements as to whether or not to trust the information they see.
BirdPedia, Eremaea, Vic Birdline and Birding Aus all serve these purposes.

What is clearly needed in my view is a system that allows birders to publish
their data for immediate availability to others (and this can be just "rare"
birds or - more importantly - full sets of observations) and for this data
to automatically feed through to the BA or Vic atlases - obviously the
latter is restricted somewhat (in geography) so it is probably best that
they go to the BA system. The appropriate review process can then take place
and the records added (or not) to the database as and when processed. (Of
course if all birders put all sightings online you may be swamped with data
to analyse!)

I hope that the various systems (and I am sure there are others in the other
states that I do not know about) can evolve so that we have a system that we
can all use and take advantage of, whether "normal" birders, "twitchers" or
seriou scientists

On 4/5/06,  <>
> A few thoughts for list members regarding the Atlas of Victorian Wildlife
> (AVW) fauna database, mainly for those visiting or residing in Victoria.
> There may be a lack of appreciation amongst some birdos of the AVW and the
> important role it plays in the management of threatened species and
> ecological communities in Victoria.
> Many naturalists of all types (vertebrate, invertebrate, marine species,
> etc) forward their records to the AVW, as all fauna can be recorded in the
> system.  Importantly alot of additional observer detail can also be
> recorded (e.g. the numbers of a species, habitat information, area covered
> in count and other useful data can be sent in (as opposed to just the
> presence/absence of a species). This more detailed data makes the database
> much more useful to potential users. It is worth noting that consultants,
> private citizens and government officers working on environmental matters
> find the extra detail very much more useful than just presence/absence
> alone provides.  Indeed the AVW receives many inquiries each week
> requesting detailed information for sites across Victoria (including off
> shore areas) and detailed lists of records for various species.
> The Atlas has also made an effort to record all fauna reported in
> historical journals, textbooks and field studies since European
> settlement.  This means some idea of historical ranges of species (e.g.
> increases or decreases in range) can be gleaned by analysing AVW data over
> various time frames etc.  Indeed, many Victorian fauna (mammals, birds,
> reptiles, fish, etc) listed as threatened species under the Flora and
> Fauna Guarantee Act were nominated for listing using data from the atlas.
> The current managers of the AVW have provided me with the following
> detailed response to suggestions that the AVW is '...out of date'
> "The statewide repository of fauna data, the Atlas of Victorian Wildlife,
> is updated as soon as records are submitted to us. After new records are
> added we then review the data (ideally every 3 months) and approve records
> for wider distribution. The review of data can take us several months
> depending on resources. Currently, we are very under resourced and
> unfortunately this translates into delays for reviewing and approving new
> data for publication.
> The method in which we distribute data is either via the Viridans public
> display systems such as the Victorian Fauna Display (VFD) CD Rom or as
> spatial layers for incorporation into a Geographic Information System.
> Whether you use the Viridans systems or spatial data the records published
> in the datasets are updated at the same time so they are consistent. This
> historically has occurred annually because of the time it takes to
> complete the update.
> In 2005 we initiated a project to improve our technical processes to speed
> up the time it takes us to update the spatial layers (and therefore when
> we can provide updated data for viewing with the Viridans products). The
> intention was to reduce the time it took to release new data from 12
> months down to a more practical 3 months or even faster for priority
> records that can be reviewed on a fast track basis. Unfortunately this
> project has been delayed by many months owing to a recent reduction in
> staff numbers and, as a result, no update has happened since it commenced,
> causing the gap between old and new approved data to lengthen to two
> years.
> We appreciate that this is not ideal but we are nearing the end of our
> project to improve our services and will soon be releasing updated data.
> If you would like to be added to a mailing list to be notified when the
> data is available please email  to
> register."
> I strongly encourage all birdos to send their observations into the AVW
> (or preferred database) so we have the best available information to
> better manage our native avifauna and their habitats.  The AVW has various
> recording methods available to interested people (use the above address to
> contact them).
> If you send data to the atlas you receive acknowledgment of your data and
> have access to the system as a registered data collector.
> Note also that the AVW has a data exchange agreement with Birds Australia,
> so each system has access to the others data.
> The AVW is your database.  It's only as good as the data that people
> forward to it.
> Observers records, no matter how small, can make a difference to the
> conservation of our flora and fauna.  We can all make a difference if as
> many people as possible support these flora and fauna databases.
> (happy to discuss)
> Martin O'Brien
> Threatened Species & Communities Section
> Department of Sustainability and Environment
> 2/8 Nicholson St. (PO Box 500), East Melbourne  3002
> Tel: 9637 9869
> (prefixes: Interstate 03 International 613)
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> ===============================
> To unsubscribe from this mailing list,
> send the message:
> unsubscribe
> (in the body of the message, with no Subject line)
> to: 
> ===============================

To unsubscribe from this mailing list,
send the message:
(in the body of the message, with no Subject line)
<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU