Surveying surveys of birds

Identifying and re-surveying sites to gain knowledge of species distribution dynamics

Data resources used via GBIF : 2,426,732 species occurrences
Yellow-rumped warbler (Setophaga coronata subsp. auduboni)

Yellow-rumped warbler (Setophaga coronata subsp. auduboni) observed by José BH Díaz in Querétaro, Mexico. Photo via licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0.

When studying the short-term dynamics of species’ distributions, re-surveying areas of interest over years and after prolonged periods of time can provide fascinating information, however, choosing sites to re-survey may be difficult. This study seeks to aid in identifying sites for re-surveying and add to a poor body of knowledge on changes in avian distributions in Mexico.

Based on bird occurrences primarily mediated by GBIF, researchers carry out extensive data quality checking, remove duplicate records and calculate levels of inventory completeness. The resulting analysis provides a summary of estimated completeness in 0.05 degree pixels. They identify sampling hotspots of contiguous pixels in almost all Mexican states, however, only three sites (El Triunfo in Chipas, Xalapa in Veracruz, and the island of Cozumel in Quintana Roo) meet the highest criterion at more than 90 per cent estimated completeness.

The authors suggest that other researchers use the results of this study for repeating inventories to generate knowledge on avian distribution dynamics in Mexico.

Peterson AT, Navarro-Sigüenza AG and Martínez-Meyer E (2016) Digital Accessible Knowledge and well-inventoried sites for birds in Mexico: baseline sites for measuring faunistic change. PeerJ. PeerJ 4: e2362. Available at: