Secretarybird Sagittarius serpentarius Population Trends and Ecology: Insights from South African Citizen Science Data


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dc.contributor Michael Brooks en_ZA
dc.contributor Rene Navarro en_ZA
dc.contributor Donella Young en_ZA
dc.contributor Citizen scientists en_ZA Hofmeyr, Sally D Symes, Craig T Underhill, Leslie G
dc.coverage.spatial South Africa en_ZA 2014-06-19T09:57:07Z 2014-06-19T09:57:07Z 2014-05-09
dc.identifier.citation Hofmeyr SD, Symes CT, Underhill LG (2014) Secretarybird Sagittarius serpentarius Population Trends and Ecology: Insights from South African Citizen Science Data. PLoS ONE 9(5): e96772. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0096772 en_ZA
dc.description.abstract Data from two long-term citizen science projects were used to examine the status and ecology of a Red List species, the Secretarybird Sagittarius serpentarius (Vulnerable), in South Africa. The first phase of the Southern African Bird Atlas Project operated from 1987 until 1992, and the second phase began in 2007. The Coordinated Avifaunal Roadcounts (CAR) project began in 1993 and by 1998 had expanded to cover much of the south-eastern half of the country. Data submitted up until April 2013 were used. A new method of comparing reporting rates between atlas projects was developed. Changing reporting rates are likely to reflect changes in abundance; in this instance the data suggest that the Secretarybird population decreased across much of South Africa between the two atlas projects, with a widespread important decrease in the Kruger National Park. Habitat data from the CAR project were analysed to gain insight into the ecology of the species. Secretarybirds tended to avoid transformed habitats across much of the area covered by the CAR project. In the winter rainfall region of the Western Cape, which is characterised by heavily transformed fynbos vegetation, at least 50% of Secretarybirds recorded were in transformed environments. This implies that in the Fynbos biome, at least, Secretarybirds have adapted to transformed environments to some degree. However, in the rest of the country it is likely that habitat loss, largely through widespread bush encroachment but also through agriculture, afforestation, and urbanisation, is a major threat to the species. The methods developed here represent a new approach to analysing data from long-term citizen science projects, which can provide important insights into a species’ conservation status and ecology. en_ZA
dc.language eng en_ZA
dc.publisher PLoS (Public Library of Science) en_ZA
dc.rights Attribution 3.0 United States *
dc.rights.uri *
dc.source PLoS ONE en_ZA
dc.title Secretarybird Sagittarius serpentarius Population Trends and Ecology: Insights from South African Citizen Science Data en_ZA
dc.type Journal Article en_ZA
uct.embed.slideshare <iframe src="" width="427" height="356" frameborder="0" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" scrolling="no" style="border:1px solid #CCC; border-width:1px 1px 0; margin-bottom:5px; max-width: 100%;" allowfullscreen> </iframe> <div style="margin-bottom:5px"> <strong> <a href="" title="Secretarybirds and Citizen Science in South Africa" target="_blank">Secretarybirds and Citizen Science in South Africa</a> </strong> from <strong><a href="" target="_blank">Sally Hofmeyr</a></strong> </div>
uct.type.publication Research en_ZA
uct.type.resource Article en_ZA
uct.subject.keywords Avian demography en_ZA
uct.subject.keywords Citizen science en_ZA
uct.subject.keywords Secretarybirds en_ZA
uct.subject.keywords Environmental change en_ZA
uct.subject.keywords Bird atlas en_ZA
dc.publisher.institution University of Cape Town
dc.publisher.faculty Faculty of Science en_ZA
dc.publisher.department Animal Demography Unit (ADU) en_ZA

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Attribution 3.0 United States Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution 3.0 United States