I’ve been looking at the statistics from the GBBC, which ran from 12-15 Feb
2016 - http://ebird.org/ebird/gbbc/region/world
So far, 5,456 species were reported via 155,877 checklists. 127,103 of those
lists came from the United States (a very high turnout). As expected,
Australia came in 8th position.
Basically, the rankings are
1. India 735 species, 7,119 checklists
2. Mexico 697 species, 978 checklists
3. Ecuador 682 species, 122 checklists
4. Columbia 666 species, 150 checklists
5. USA 663 species, 127,103 checklists
6. Costa Rica 612 species, 387 checklists
7. Brazil 555 species, 181 checklists
8. Australia 529 species, 1,727 checklists
9. Panama 479 species, 249 checklists
10. Argentina 437 species, 145 checklists
11. Thailand 431 species, 86 checklists
12. Sth Africa 420 species, 86 checklists
24. Portugal 201 species, 287 checklists
30. NZ 141 species, 276 checklists
144. Albania 1 species.
The bottom line is that 8 of the top 10 countries were in the Americas - the
exceptions were India and Australia. The USA had almost wall to wall coverage
in the lower 48 states. The neotropics are the real top spots - Ecuador came
in third with 682 species from just 122 checklists (close to 5.5 species per
Australia’s total of 529 species is fairly good given there were limited
checklists submitted from outback locations (no grasswrens reported, no SW WA
skulkers, no Cape York species). That is not surprising given that February
isn’t a good time to be out and about in the outback. There were also limited
pelagic observations - only a dozen species reported.
New Zealand came in 30th with 141 species - same number observed in South
Australia. As one might expect, Qld came first in Australia with 337 species,
followed by 272 species from NSW and 267 species from Vic. Tassie came in with
The top Australian hotspots were the WTP with 108 species, and Gold Scrub Lane,
Samsonvale (SEQ) with 96 species.
On the individual front, the top birder, Prashant Kumar observed 310 species
from 31 checklists. The threshold for the top 50 in the world was 157 species
and 138 species for the top 100.
The top Australian observer was Sue Lee who came in 85th with 143 species.
The threshold for the top 50 was 74 species, eminently doable, given that I
cracked it, and 58 species for the top 100.
Looking ahead, it is quite conceivable that if the birders who live in outback
Australia submitted lists to the GBBC, that the Australian total could crack
the 600 species mark. It is also possible that the GBBC could develop into a
bird race (or a dry run for people competing in twitchathons). The key
difference is that it takes place during the Austral summer and runs over 4
days rather than 24 hours.
It would be interesting to see how many species a birder could observe in
Australia in mid-February (without undertaking risky travel). Something to
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