Welcome to the Newfoundland Breeding Bird Atlas!
This ambitious five-year project teams citizen scientists with professionals to map the distribution and relative abundance of bird species breeding on the island of Newfoundland. A collaborative effort between conservation organizations, federal and provincial governments, the private sector, and the public, the Atlas will provide an invaluable tool for wildlife conservation, education, and research in the province.
What is a Breeding Bird Atlas?
A Breeding Bird Atlas is a project that maps the distribution and relative abundance of breeding birds over a large geographic area such as a province, state, or country. Atlases follow a standardized methodology and are designed to be repeated at 20-year intervals, which allows changes in bird populations to be tracked over time. Newfoundland’s first Breeding Bird Atlas will be an open access, comprehensive digital account of the status of breeding birds on the island. The Newfoundland Atlas will provide an invaluable resource for industry, government, conservation organizations, academic institutions, and the general public, for purposes spanning the spectrum from conservation planning and environmental assessments to environmental education and research projects.
What can birds tell us?
Birds are good indicators of environmental health because they are conspicuous, occur in all ecoregions and habitats, and respond quickly to environmental stressors and habitat change. As a result, Breeding Bird Atlases have tremendous potential for monitoring not just bird populations but other biological and environmental changes.
How does citizen science work?
Birds Canada’s Breeding Bird Atlases are not-for-profit initiatives and all the data produced is open-source and publicly available. Yet bird atlases are also large, complex, multi-year, and multi-collaborator efforts, requiring not only professional staff but large numbers of skilled volunteers, all working together to contribute bird data over a large geographic area. A volunteer citizen network enables scientists to accomplish tasks that would otherwise be prohibitively expensive. By collecting and submitting data in a coordinated fashion, where and when they are able, citizen scientists make a concrete contribution to conservation science for birds across the country.
Who can participate?
Anyone with a pair of binoculars and birdwatching experience, or even a desire to learn about birds, can participate! However, it does help to have some experience and familiarity with how to identify birds. You don’t need to be an expert – we just ask that you are confident in the identification of the birds that you report.