Metadata for Datasets Curated by the ADU

  • BIRP: Birds In Reserves Project (BIRP)
  • CAR: Biannual roadcounts of large terrestrial birds
  • CWAC: Coordinated Waterbird Counts (CWAC) Programme
  • EchinoMAP: Atlas of African Echinoderma
  • ODONATA: Odonata Atlas of Southern Africa
  • SABAP1: Southern African Bird Atlas Project
  • SABAP2: Southern African Bird Atlas Project 2
  • SABCA: Southern African Butterfly Conservation Assessment (SABCA)
  • SAFAP: Atlas of the Frogs of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland
  • SAFRING: Southern African Bird Ringing Unit (SAFRING)
  • SARCA: Reptile Atlas of Southern Africa
    formerly: Southern African Reptile Conservation Assessment (SARCA)
  • ScorpionMAP: Atlas of African Scorpions
  • VIMMA: MammalMAP - Virtual Museum of African Mammals

SABAP1 Metadata:

Name of Organization/Department Southern African Bird Atlas Project, Animal Demography Unit
Contact person (Person to contact about the dataset) Prof. Les Underhill
Position ADU Director
Postal Address Animal Demography Unit, Department of Biological Science, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch
Postal code 7701
City/Town Cape Town
Province Western Cape
Country South Africa
Telephone +27 (0)21 650 3227
Fax +27 (0)21 650 3301
Website address (url)
Title of dataset Southern African Bird Atlas Project
Brief description (max. 200 words) The Southern African Bird Atlas Project (SABAP) started being referred to as SABAP1 once SABAP2 started. The SABAP1 project set out to generate distribution maps for all birds species occurring in six countries of southern Africa: Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. The spatial resolution was the quarter degree grid cell (15 minutes of longitude by 15 minutes of latitude), except for Botswana where a half-degree grid was employed. The total number of grid cells was 3973. The temporal coverage was the calendar month, although 50% of checklists were made on period of 10 days or less. The project collected 7.33 million records of bird distribution on 147 605 checklists. No data was collected for 88 grid cells (2.2% of the total).
Purpose (max. 200 words) The objective of the project was to provide a snapshot of bird distribution in southern Africa in the late 1980s to early 1990s
Begin date (When data collection started) 01/01/1987 (but the project used all compatible data collected after 1980, apart from Namibia for which 1970 was the cutoff)
End date (For dormant datasets: When was data collection ended 31/12/1991 (but some data were collected in 1992 in remote areas, and until 1993 in Botswana, Lesotho and Namibia)
Give a brief account of any biases, gaps or errors which may exist in the dataset. The unit of data collection was the checklist. The amount of effort that went into a single checklist was not recorded, varies between 30 minutes to 30 days. However, most checklists can be considered to represent roughly one day's intensive birding in at least one area of the quarter degree grid cell. See the published atlas for caveats.
How to get a copy of the dataset Summary data is freely available from the project website: If you require the complete data set, please write to us at
Other information about the dataset which may be important. There is an extensive description of the caveats in the book publication. These need to be read carefully before making use of the data. By mid 2009, approximately 70 papers had been published which made use of SABAP1 data; a list of these papers is maintained as far as possible on the project website
Author name (name of the person who entered the metadata record) Les Underhill
Author organization Animal Demography Unit
Author position Director
Author address Animal Demography Unit, Department of Biological Science, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch
Author postal code 7701
Author city/town Cape Town
Author province Western Cape
Author country South Africa
Author telephone 021 650 3227
Author fax 021 650 3434
Author email
Metadata creation date 11/09/2009
Last update of metadata 11/09/2009