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Breeding Bird Atlas Innovations

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From the Birding Community E-bulletin, January 2014:


State and Provincial breeding bird atlases (BBAs) have been evolving over many years, and the most recent Massachusetts entry, a project of Mass Audubon, certainly represents another leap in the genre.


Last month, iTunes made available the second Massachusetts BBA as an eBook. This is the very first BBA eBook. On iTunes, it sells for about $25:



For those folks who still like the "real" book option they are also offering a print-on-demand option. The publisher will be taking preorders for the book, in the $115 range, shipping included in the US. This offers a traditional treatment of the atlas, addressing distributional shifts of more than 200 species in Massachusetts, richly illustrated with John Sill's artwork, and featuring all maps - Atlas 1, Atlas 2 and Change Maps, as well as detailed distribution tables. See here very soon for particulars:



At the same time, the Massachusetts BBA2 website has essentially all the content that is in the eBook, and that's for free:



A succinct BBA2 summary, as well as bird conservation recommendations for the state, "State of the Birds 2013 - Massachusetts, Breeding Birds: A Closer Look" also became available last year in print, and as a pdf document:



The data used in the preparation of the BBA2 as well as State of the Birds 2011 and 2013 is available at the same website - just choose  "Find A Bird," and you can explore the data.


These products are a direct result of 150,000 hours in the field, 250,000 data records, 222 species, and five years of field work. Now more is known about Massachusetts breeding birds than ever before, and it is possible these data represent the most complete data library for any state in the US. This work makes informed decisions about bird conservation planning in the state possible. Indeed, this work is not just about breeding birds; ultimately, it is about maintaining healthy and sustainable communities.


In combination, these projects aim to educate and inform everyone with an interest in Massachusetts with even a mild interest in birds, from planners to foresters and students to conservation professionals. Everyone now has access to the BBA2 data and the reports across many platforms.


Other states and provinces in the process of developing their own BBAs should take note.

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