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FAQ About Expedition Birding - email exchange with Yvon Princen

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  • Gunnar Engblom
    ... De: Yvon.Princen@ovam.be [mailto:Yvon.Princen@ovam.be] Enviado el: Martes, 30 de Marzo de 2004 02:09 a.m. Para: kolibriexp@telefonica.net.pe Asunto: Re:
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 27, 2004

      -----Mensaje original-----
      De:
      Yvon.Princen@... [mailto:Yvon.Princen@...]
      Enviado el: Martes, 30 de Marzo de 2004 02:09 a.m.
      Para: kolibriexp@...
      Asunto: Re: [EBN]

       

      Dear Gunnar,

       

      I am busy with filling in my expedition birding points. Although I am yet only arrived at the crakes and co. I have some remarks on the points given.

       

      Some birds are missing I think e.g. Madagascar flufftail

       

      There isn't much equilibrity in giving a palmchat (a very easy bird to find if you go to the Dominican Republic) as many points as a worcester' buttonquail e.g. in the Philippines. Data deficient birds should merit more points as they get at the moment.

       

      I think also that there has to be an upgrade for difficult to find skulking species that fit in one of the mentioned categories. In general it is much easier to find a rare crane or bulbul than a rare partridge, rail or bush-warbler e.g. With only giving these difficult species one point you discourage people to inves t in that kind of species.

       

      So, I ask to give skulking species fitting in the list always one point more than non-skulking species non-regarding which categoria they are in. And data deficient species one point more than non data deficient species

       

      A maybe non-existing species like Hoogerwerf's pheasant of Sumatra gets 2 points. Maybe this merits 10 or 9 points e.g. So, there are other species that are extinct or nearly extinct at the moment that get only 3 points or 2 points. Very strange.

       

      I follow the idea that is always followed with listing. The birds have to be seen for counting them. Just hearing is 0 points.

       

      Successfull birding and greatings,

       

      Kind regards,

       

      Yvon Princen
      yvon.princen@...
      015/284.415

      -----Mensaje original-----
      De:
      Gunnar Engblom [mailto:kolibriexp@...]
      Enviado el: Martes, 30 de Marzo de 2004 08:47 p.m.
      Para: '
      Yvon.Princen@...'
      Asunto: RE: [EBN]

       

      Hi Yvon

       

      Thanks for supporting the idea.  I think this can grow. 

       

      I just got back from a trip in Central Peru so sorry I have not answered earlier. I will start working very hard on this idea the coming weeks since I have no trips scheduled until May. We will update the list and hopefully in a couple of month get it as a database where one can fill in the scores on line, as well as do searches for what country has most expeditions points, where one should go for 7 and 8 point species, etc…

      I will in the next coming days also look at your suggestions.

       

      One thing though. Heard birds have as high conservation value as seen birds. Heard birds points in general would be counted. Why? Because the concept has conservation as the prime goal. Many birders will of course for there personal list not count a heard bird, but they may still do so (if they like) for their expedition birding list to compare and measure the conservation value of their birding.

       

      I don’t agree that skulking species should have a higher value. The scores have nothing to do with how difficult a species is to see. It is all about its need of attention from world birders.

       

      As for DD species yes I believe there should be a higher score for some of these species. But it is difficult to assess for someone who is not familiar with some of the regions. I think a collective effort is necessary to pinpoint the scores for some of these. DD species that are in fact very little known and hardly ever seen should  be in the 5 point category, where as some of these such as Ringed Storm Petrel, limited range and no known breeding areas) that is easy to see at sea should be only worth one point if seen on a pelagic but five points if a breeding site can be found that will help to assess its true conservation status.

       


      Gunnar

       

       

       

       

       

      -----Mensaje original-----
      De:
      Yvon.Princen@... [mailto:Yvon.Princen@...]
      Enviado el: Miércoles, 31 de Marzo de 2004 02:00 a.m.
      Para: kolibriexp@...
      Asunto: RE: [EBN]

       

      Hello Gunnar,

       

      Thanks for your answer. I don't agree about the skulking matter just because i think people will not invest in a skulking species just being 1 point if there are so much easier points to get with non skulking species with the same of an higher value. Hearing whil exclude a lot of skulking species from getting more points. So I agree for them.

       

      I go farther in the list and I remark that some endemic bird areas like the Philippines and Madagascar are underscored comparable with e.g. the Caraïben.

       

      Many Philippine endemics are not listed at all, the same for a lot of Madagascar endemics.

       

      Other species that are for one of an other reason not listed while comparable species are listed :

      Madagascar Sandgrouse

      Tibetan Sandgrouse

      Plains-wanderer

      Black-faced Sheatbill

      White bellied Seedsnipe

       

      if you compare this with e.g.

      Plain Pigeon what is the difference then?

      Why one species merits points and another not.

       

      I think specially Madagascar, the Philippines and Australia have to be reviewed and a clear criterium for what being an endemic species and what not has to be defined.

       

      -----Mensaje original-----
      De:
      Gunnar Engblom [mailto:kolibriexp@...]
      Enviado el: Miércoles, 31 de Marzo de 2004 12:35 p.m.
      Para: '
      Yvon.Princen@...'
      Asunto: RE: [EBN]

       

      Hi Yvon

       

      First of all do you mind if we post these conversations to the list? It needs a bit of activity.

       

      Note that endemic is the Expedition Birding sense only includes endemic bird area (EBA) and restricted range RR species, as defined by BirdLife international. The limit is an area of occupancy of  50,000 km2 to be considered RR. Thus very widespread Australian endemics would not be in included. This also makes sense in terms of conservation value. Only the very restricted range species would indicators that the live in an area of high endemism that needs conservation efforts to safeguard biodiversity. Since there is a high overlap between threatened birds species and areas of endemism (in the RR sense) giving value to any RR species would promote people to go for those endemics first. Note that there is also a great overlap between RR birds and other endemic life forms. The EBA:s are indicators of where conservation efforts should be made.

       

      There are some species that almost reaches the RR status and that I have considered to include.

       

      For instance Black-necked Flicker has a distribution of some 80.000 km2 and Oasis Hummingbird around 100.000 km2 and these are not included in the list. It is obviously difficult to assess the exact area of distribution if one does not have access to a data base that deals with such things. The easiest thing is to adopt BirdLife Internationals list even if it sometimes have border cases.

      More problematic is splits and future splits. We will have to try to assess if their distributions fall within the less than 50.000 km2  and lift their cases before official treatment of BirdLife International. By giving such species value it will help BirdLife in future assessments of threat status, providing the birders start sharing their observations of these species. With the interactive data base that is in production this will be quite possible.

       

      I will look through the species you mention to see if any of them indeed have been missed. Give me a couple of days.

       

      Gunnar

       

       

      -----Mensaje original-----
      De:
      Yvon.Princen@... [mailto:Yvon.Princen@...]
      Enviado el: Jueves, 01 de Abril de 2004 02:12 a.m.
      Para: kolibriexp@...
      Asunto: RE: [EBN]

       

      Hello Gunnar,

       

      This make things clearer. I can't estimate of all species if their known area is smaller or bigger than 50.000 km² (e.g. do they take 50.000 km² of habitat suitable for the bird, of just 50.000 km² of land of unknown or even known origin between two recently known places where the species has been seen), but I understand the line has to be drawn somewhere. Also, I think the birdlife estimations are subject to permanent changes which can make species pityfull enough in the near future easier becoming part of a RR than being thrown out of a RR;

      I have no problem that you put our conversation on the list. It will make things clearer for other people too, if they are not that familiar with birdlife classifications.

       

      Kind regards,

       

      Yvon Princen
      yvon.princen@...
      015/284.415


       

      HI Yvon, thanks for the copy of your expedition birding list. Now you have to do it all over again when it will be on line…. J

       

      Yes, the 50000 km² is hard to estimate. I hope eventually that I shall be able to have some data base available that already has all this info. The 50.000 km² calculated as limit for birds qualified as restricted range species include also historical appropriate habitat. Therefor, a species does not qualify as a RR species by habitat loss. But habitat loss would definitely trigger a threat status for the same bird and points will be assigned.  For some species if the habitat is very specialized – i.e. wetlands, Polylepis forest, bamboo patches only, etc, an estimate is made how much of the coverage an areas has. So if he range is 60-70 000 km², but the habitat is very specialized such as species will be considered RR. This is why all endemic species of i.e. Sri Lanka or Hispañola are included in the Expedition birding list, while only the endemic birds of Madagascar with small ranges or specialized habitat are considered Restricted range species (Madagascar being several hundre thousands square kilometers.

       

      Some birds you have mentioned and their Expedition Birding Status:

      • Madagascar flufftail – very common within its range on Madagascar even in degraded habitat within the large Endemic Bird Area of East Malagasy wet forest EBA 094 (160,000 km²). 0 points.
      • Palmchat. Hispañola 1 point.
      • Worcester' Buttonquail, Phillipines – this one I had missed not a single one of the relatively recently collected birds have been seen in the wild. So thanks Yvon. This species qualifies for 10 points. I will change this in the table. I don’t suppose anyone has seen since the publication of Threatened birds of the world?
      • Hoogerwerf's pheasant. Sumatra. Once again a miss. I have corrected this in the new table that are to be uploaded shortly
      • Madagascar Sandgrouse. Madagascar. Range too large.
      • Tibetan Sandgrouse. Tibet. Common with large range.
      • Plains-wanderer. Australia is currently Endangerd. It is  listed for three points
      • Black-faced Sheatbill. Difficult case. Seabirds were not included in the restricted range treatment. Certainly some should be included in the expedition birding concept. Considering the small distribution of Black-faced Sheathbill it is making a case.  I hope we can when the list takes off have a discussion which seabirds should be included.
      • White bellied Seedsnipe. This one I have searched for myself and dipped. It is highly specialized to very limited areas of habitat during the breeding season, so even if its range of distribution does surpass 50.000km2, it is the breeding range that matters. I think this is a miss in the birdlife “endemic bird areas of the world” and that it should be included. I will do some investigation and will let you know.

       

      Gunnar

       

      Gunnar Engblom-Lima, Peru.
      Kolibri Expeditions

      http://www.kolibriexpeditions.com 

      Birding Peru e-group: birdingperu-subscribe@yahoogroups.com 

      Trip reports, recent sightings, travel tips, travel partners, range extensions, identification help, www.birding-peru.com
      Tel: +51 1 4765016 cel; 51-1-9643 77 49

       

       

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