A Long-term Monitoring Project
The Atlas is one of BirdLife Australia's greatest resources, allowing us to track changes in birds across the country. Since 1998 a dedicated band of over 7000 atlassers have amassed over 420,000 surveys, comprising over 7.1 million bird records.
Unlike most Atlases conducted around the world which collect data in grids, observers are asked to give the precise coordinates of where they undertook their survey. Knowing this information adds greatly to the value of the data and allows observers to go back to that precise location and conduct repeat surveys. With large numbers of observers collecting data, the Atlas provides a good insight into the changes in bird populations over time.
Atlassers have many opportunities to contribute, be it through repeat surveys or as part of general atlassing. The continued growth of the Atlas project depends upon the enthusiasm of existing Atlassers and the recruitment of new observers.
Anyone with an interest in birds can make an important contribution to our knowledge of Australian birds by getting involved in the project.
To support our atlassers and the Atlas database, BirdLife Australia developed Birdata birdata.com.au. This is a website devoted to the Atlas where atlassers can enter new data and gain feedback about their surveys and sites.
Birdata isn't just about data entry. At its core is sophisticated software that maps the distribution of every Australian bird. General bird lists for any part of the country are also available.
Atlassers should note that paper Atlas forms will continue to be used. Birdata provides an easy electronic data entry point for those that wish to use it, helps us preserve our resources, and allows information to be more readily available.
Need help entering your Atlas data into the Birdata website? Download Birdata 101 below.