Definitive resource on BC’s birds will guide conservation action
10 May 2016 (Vancouver, British Columbia) – Results from the first-ever complete survey of birds across the whole province of British Columbia have just been released, and are now available for free online. The British Columbia Breeding Bird Atlas is already helping to identify and protect critical habitats for Species at Risk, and improve conditions for birds on industrial lands. It is also expected to enable new conservation areas and management strategies to be developed.
The Atlas is one of the largest Citizen Science initiatives the province has ever seen. More than 1300 British Columbians made the mammoth effort possible through 60,000 hours of dedicated volunteerism and fieldwork over eight years. The public-private initiative was supported by 140 donors and special contributors, and led by a partnership between Birds Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada, the BC Ministry of Environment, BC Nature, the BC Field Ornithologists, the Pacific Wildlife Foundation, and Louisiana Pacific Canada Ltd.
“Environment and Climate Change Canada is very proud to support BC’s first breeding bird atlas and the first online bird atlas in Canada. The Atlas was made possible thanks to years of dedicated work by volunteers and scientists,” said Minister of Environment and Climate Change, The Honourable Catherine McKenna.
This landmark bird atlas is the first of its kind in Canada, with the complete content published for free online. It is thought to be the most comprehensive web resource of its type in the world. User-friendly features make it accessible to environmental professionals, students, educators, and the public.
“This innovative, groundbreaking project could not have happened without the passion of hundreds and hundreds of bird enthusiasts. We’re thrilled to support Canada’s first online bird atlas, and are proud to see BC at the forefront of comprehensive, easily accessible information,” said The Honourable Mary Polak, Minister of the Environment for the Province of British Columbia.
Pete Davidson, senior advisor with Birds Canada, who managed the project, commented: “Imagine something that is fun to do, is highly respected, and has meaningful, lasting impact. The Atlas is just that. It is one of the most constructive partnerships for nature in British Columbia. And the work does not stop here. Over the years ahead, we must continue to apply this new resource to help find solutions to the issues impacting birds, and get the best out of conservation investments.”
Explore the Atlas of the Breeding Birds of British Columbia online at www.birdatlas.bc.ca.
Birds Canada is Canada’s leading national charitable organization dedicated to bird science and conservation.
Data Analyst, National Data Centre