Citizen science mitigates the lack of distributional data on Nigerian birds

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Citizen science projects are increasing globally, especially in Africa. Citizen science in ornithology employs the participation of public volunteers and nature enthusiasts to collect data about birds. Seventeen APLORI-trained researchers, including IITA Forest Center Manager Adewale Awoyemi, report the invaluable contributions of citizen science volunteers in this new scientific paper. As part of the Nigerian Bird Atlas Project (NiBAP), their works mitigate the lack of distributional data on Nigerian birds.

NiBAP was launched in 2015 as the first citizen science project arm of the A.P. Leventis Ornithological Research Institute (APLORI), Jos, Nigeria. Launched to map all Nigerian bird species and document their descriptions with the help of citizen science volunteers, NiBAP has recorded significant success so far. Currently boasting 827 bird enthusiasts across 28 bird clubs in Nigeria, with trained ornithologists from APLORI, NiBAP has recorded 75% of Nigeria’s bird species, covering only 50% of Nigeria’s total surface area. So far, 39 IUCN-listed nationally threatened species have been recorded, including three critically endangered, nine endangered, thirteen vulnerable, thirteen near threatened, and one data deficient species.

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