It has happened, Atlas Birders, the Priority Species database has arrived! A quick reminder: the VABBA2 is first and foremost a conservation tool for assessing bird populations in Virginia. To that end, an important goal of the Atlas project is to collect additional information on a subset of ‘Priority’ species. Some of these are prioritized because they are of conservation concern, while others are interesting from an ornithological perspective (e.g. species that have recently expanded their range into Virginia).
Additional data on these species will be housed in a simple new database accessed through the VABBA2 web page (www.vabba2.org). This tool exists in a different online system, because we would prefer these data NOT be housed within the public eBird system. In fact, we actively encourage Atlas contributors not to post precise breeding location data for priority species via the eBird portal. While we hope all birders will use appropriate care when out birding, we also don’t want these species to incur undue stress and disturbance, as a result of this project.
The Priority Species database can now be found on the Atlas web page under the ‘Submit Data‘ page. Please use this tool to report your breeding observations of Priority Species (possible, probable, or confirmed codes only) to the project. Include videos, photos, or audio recordings to provide evidence of the species identity, as you would in the eBird system. Note: not all sightings of every species on the Priority list need to be reported to this system. We’ve provided additional species-specific guidance, also on the Submit Data page of the website. See ‘Priority Species Database Use Guidelines‘ and ‘Species-specific Guidance‘.
See below for some pointers on using this new tool.
Step 1: Enter Information
Step 2: Select Location
You have several options for entering where you observed the bird(s)…
Step 3: Complete Form
Be sure to actually click the ‘Submit Entry’ button, when you have completed the form. If you forgot any required info, the form will automatically jump to that section. When all info is entered, you will get a pop-up window notifying you that you’re done!
Thanks for your participation and remember to email your regional coordinator with questions.
-Ashley Peele, PhD, VA Atlas Coordinator