BEV
22 views | +0 today
Follow
BEV
Baboon Energy Vectors
Curated by Underhill Les
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Underhill Les
Scoop.it!

SABAP2 | Have you atlased your pentad today?

SABAP2 | Have you atlased your pentad today? | BEV | Scoop.it

Magda Remisiewicz, who was a post-doc in the ADU from 2008 to 2011, and Joel Avni, a local ringer, visited Barberspan Bird Sanctuary last week to follow up on their multi-year study and training project at the reserve. Magda reports: "The lake has subsided a bit since our last visit in September 2011, but is still at it highest level since 2006 for this time of the year and the main open-meadow habitat where Kittlitz's Plovers usually breed is mostly still partly inundated. Despite this, breeding seems to have been successful this year and we ringed many juveniles just a few months old. The meadows drying out along the banks of the lake offered excellent feeding conditions for numerous summering migrant waders, especially Little Stint and Ruffs, and even a few rare vagrant Pectoral Sandpipers. The research team of Barberspan – rangers Andrew Mvundle, Amos Koloti, Lebo Moeti and David Moruatheko – skillfully ringed ducks and geese, and continued to develop their skills in ringing passerines. The team carries on atlasing in the reserve, and in the weeks before we arrived did a CAR count and helped with the reserve's CWAC survey. They have begun passing on their experience in studying birds to a group of interns of a fire-fighting programme now based at Barberspan. The photo shows Amos on the left, and Lebo on the right, demonstrating how to ring an Egyptian Goose to one of the interns. Well done to the Barberspan team."

 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Underhill Les
Scoop.it!

SABAP2 | Have you atlased your pentad today?

SABAP2 | Have you atlased your pentad today? | BEV | Scoop.it

Kristin Broms is part of the SABAP2 analysis team. She is a statistician, doing her PhD at the University of Washington, Seattle, USA. At this university she is part of an "interdisciplinary graduate program" called Quantitative Ecology and Resource Management – QERM for short – this programme "offers students a unique opportunity to apply statistics, mathematics, and decision science to a broad range of problems in terrestrial and marine ecology, natural resource management, biometrics, and mathematical biology. The program attracts mathematically trained students interested in working on these problems, and biologically or environmentally trained students wishing to further enhance their quantitative skills." This is essentially the interface into which the ADU is heading – we talk about "Statistical Ecology" which we define as putting Statistics into Biology and Biology into Statistics.

 

The PhD system at the University of Washington differs to ours. Kristin has passed all her exams, and is now in the final lap of her PhD studies, which leads to writing her thesis. For this she is developing and extending the "occupancy modelling" we are using for much of the analysis of SABAP1&2 data. Occupancy modelling takes account of the fact that we don't see every species that is present in a pentad every time we atlas it. This approach estimates a "detection probability" for each species, which depends largely on how conspicuous the species is. This week, she is presenting a seminar to her research group at QERM entitled Applying spatial occupancy models to presence-absence atlas data of South African bird species. The abstract for the seminar runs like this: "Occupancy models are used to create species-habitat associations from detection-nondetection (presence-absence) data. Although the basic model does not account for it, this type of data will often be spatially correlated. In this presentation, we will compare the assumptions and results of an occupancy model that assumes all sites and surveys are independent with a spatial occupancy model that allows sites to be correlated through the addition of a CAR-process variable. The models will be applied to the Southern Ground-hornbill using data collected from the Southern African Bird Atlas Project 2, an atlas project running from 2007 to present day. Using the checklists submitted by citizen scientist birdwatchers, it is a database of detection-nondetection data for all bird species that occur in South Africa. The birdwatchers follow a strict protocol to ensure high quality data, and each list is a minimum 2-hour survey of a 5-minute by 5-minute areal grid cell of the country."

 

Kristin has made two visits to South Africa. This picture was taken during the SAFRING ringers' conference at Barberspan Bird Sanctuary last year. Kristin experienced atlasing in action, and Crystelle Wilson took her out to show her the SABAP2 protocol in a few pentads. It is really important for statisticians to actually see the data collection process. While at Barberspan, she also enjoyed the bird ringing. It is remarkable that we have people of Kristin's calibre exploring the data analysis options that we have available to us, and also the input of her committee of supervisors who provide input directly into her research, and indirectly into the SABAP2 analysis expertise.

 

more...
No comment yet.