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Niven Library - FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology Library Guide: Species Atlases

The library supports a number of themes - African ornithology, conservation biology, Antarctic and sub-antarctic biology, specifically birds.

ADU - Atlas of the Frogs of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland

SAFAP data was used for the 2003 red listing of all frog species of the region, the results were published in the bookAtlas and Red Data Book of the Frogs of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland.

Distribution data collected during seven years of fieldwork (1996-2003), plus earlier data compiled from museum records, private collections, the literature and conservation agencies.

ADU - Southern African Reptile Conservation Assessment

The SARCA dataset consists of two relational databases, designed using MySQL. The distribution database comprises approximately 120,000 distribution records for reptile taxa that occur in southern Africa, mainly in South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. The data was supplied by museums, conservation organizations and private individuals, or was drawn from the literature or from SARCA field surveys. Records from the latter relate to tissue samples that have been deposited with the Reptile Tissue Bank at the South African National Biodiversity Institute. Approximately 7000 of the records were submitted by members of the public via an online Virtual Museum, and have associated reptile images (jpegs). The distribution database is linked to an assessment database that is designed to be importable into the IUCN database and that includes many IUCN Species Information Service (SIS) fields. For each of 410 reptile taxa that occur in South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland, there is an account that includes the recommended red listing category, a description of taxonomic issues, niche, distribution (with map), threats and recommended conservation actions. There is an associated bibliography.

ADU - Southern African Bird Atlas Project

Southern African Bird Atlas Project 2 or SABAP2 as it is known, is a community participation programme initiated, coordinated and organised by the Animal Demography Unit at the University of Cape Town.

The purpose is to collect distributional records of birds at a finer resolution than that of the first atlas (1987-1991) in order to document changes in distribution and relate this to climate change and landscape changes over the past 20 years. Outputs generated would lay the foundation for the formulation of future biodiversity and avi-faunal conservation policies within the sub-region.

SABAP 1 was published by the ADU in 1997 as The Atlas of southern African birds.

BirdLife SA - The Atlas of Seabirds at Sea

The Atlas of Seabirds at Sea, to be known in the vernacular as AS@S, pronounced "ay-sass", was launched on 16 October 2009, as part of the "Save Our Seabirds Festival" of BirdLife South Africa's Seabird Division.

AS@S is the marine analogue of SABAP2, the Second Southern African Bird Atlas Project, which is gathering records of bird distribution on the mainland.

Initially, what AS@S will try to do is to provide a database into which all observations of seabirds at sea, made according to a standard protocol, can be curated. Data which are obtained at sea will be submitted to the project via this website, and will immediately be incorporated into the database. In addition, a large amount of historical data, collected using the same protocol, will be captured into the project as soon as funding becomes available. The AS@S database will rapidly grow into a valuable resource for understanding the abundance and timing of the distribution of seabirds at sea, and for examining how these have changed through recent decades.

ADU - Southern African Butterfly Conservation Assessment

The Southern African Butterfly Conservation Assessment (SABCA) is a four year project, launched in 2007. It is a partnership between the South African National Biodiversity Institute, the Lepidopterists? Society of Africa and the Animal Demography Unit (University of Cape Town). SABCA will compile a comprehensive database of records from museum and private collections, field surveys and its virtual museum. About 500,000 records are in existing collections. Field surveys are being conducted around South Africa and prioritised to gaps. SABCA's online virtual museum is aimed at raising public awareness for butterfly biodiversity.

The Copenhagen databases of African vertebrates

The Copenhagen databases of African vertebrates compiled by Louis A. Hansen, Neil D. Burgess, Jon Fjeldså and Carsten Rahbek has been developed over more than eleven years at the Zoological Museum, University of Copenhagen, using databases of distributions of vertebrates in Sub-Saharan Africa through a broad collaboration with other institutions and researchers. The individual distribution maps present a conservative extent of occurrence in a one-degree grid, based on a thorough review of the literature, museum collections, databases, and evaluation by experts. Each map is generated using the grid-based information in the database. For amphibians, snakes and most mammals (but only few birds) the distribution data comprise green squares representing confirmed species occurrence (based on literature and museum specimens) and orange squares representing the occurrence according to expert evaluation based on known occurrence and knowledge about the species’ natural history, habitat associations and habitat distributions, as well as known absences within the larger potential range. Each map is backed up by a detailed summary database on the species taxonomy, habitat, red list status, and a list of references used to produce the map.

To search the database type the generic name of the species in the Taxon name search box. e.g. if you wish to know about the distribution of the southern ground Pangolin, then type Manis temminckii into the box.  This will present you with a distribution map (see the above information about the meanings of the coloured squares) and a list of published references about the species.