Bird Population Monitoring- February Count 2011
The drive for the February 2011 count was a perfect one for the Bird Population Monitoring (BPM) Programme1 in Botswana. It has been a great pleasure to have many of the volunteer/observer’s enthusiastically taking on their transects without much pressure from their coordinators. The BPM programme is currently experiencing a fulfilling growth and a thank you goes to the observers for their passionate support in protecting and conserving Botswana’s birdlife. The BPM observers are making a huge contribution to the conservation of birds countrywide and above all globally. This is because the BPM programme is a global monitoring network executed by European and a few African countries using different methodologies. These collective efforts make an active contribution to global conservation of our biological diversity. Nationally, with the data that the observers collect, we are able to see the distribution, diversity, abundance, composition and population trends of birds of Botswana. The data can also be used, in relation to land use changes and rainfall variation, to determine if there is any change in their habitat in the long run. Nonetheless, BirdLife Botswana acknowledges that, the current data is still unripe to use to analyse the above-mentioned variables and so we depend on the observers to pledge a long term commitment to make all this a reality. This is so because the existing bias is a result of counts being more skewed to human settlement areas resulting in less coverage in remote areas. The other reason is some of the observers are still learning bird calls and they are unable to identify and record all the birds that they see or hear in their transects.