November 2015: WABDaB five years on-line!

02 Dec 2015 [JBr]

On 24 October it was five years since the WABDaB came on-line!  Starting out as the NiBDaB, the Niger Bird DataBase, the WABDaB now also covers Chad and Burkina Faso and contains more than 57.000 records of 523 species, with breeding records for 161 of those, as well more than 2.500 photos of 372 species.  Among the records are many first observations for Niger and Chad, backed by photos, as well as two first observations for all of West Africa: a Greater Kestrel in eastern Niger and (soon to be included) Chestnut Sparrows in central Chad.  Information from the WABDaB has been used to help e.g.

- improve and update maps in the field guide for West Africa by Borrow & Demey

- assess the Africa-wide conservation status of e.g. vultures, Secretarybird and parrots

- formulate species action plans for e.g. Eurasian Spoonbill

- assess the status of terrestrial and freshwater fauna in West and Central Africa by IUCN

- assess the effects of climate change on bird distribution in a project of BirdLife International.

Our sincere thanks to all who have contributed records or photos, without you the WABDaB wouldn’t be half the resource it is now.  You are too many to name individually, but we feel we  should make an exception for the Sahara Conservation Fund, who have provided almost all the records from Chad and from east-central Niger.

As a means of increasing involvement of local populations, the WABDaB also includes, and actively collects, information on bird names in local languages and bird stories from local cultures.

Over the coming five years we hope to double number of records to more than 100.000, with special attention to Burkina Faso and Chad.  We will also continue to improve the ease of extraction of information from the WABDaB, and add new features (and countries?) as we find time to do so.  Putting the WABDaB on a sounder financial footing is will be a priority.  But above all, we hope to continue the pleasure of interacting with you all to achieve our mutual goal: improving the conservation of West Africa’s birds by increasing our knowledge about them. 

Ulf, Joost and Tim

Edited: 2016-01-17 [JBr]