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By Alfredo Martínez
This free worldwide eBird application is promoted by Cornell University in the United States and allows the bird watcher and professional ornithologist to record the birds they identify, as well as extensive information on the bird, via their mobile phone, tablet or computer. place and conditions of its observation, visual or by the song of the bird, which is transferred to a large worldwide database.
The Spanish version of this application was presented today at the new International Bird Migration Center (CIMA) in Tarifa (Cádiz), dependent on the Migres Foundation, by Yerai Seminario, one of the fifteen Spanish ornithologists who collaborate with this ornithological platform world, and who verifies the observations and confirms the infrequent or exceptional sightings.
Seminar has explained to Efe that this application can be used by any hobbyist, since it does not require specific knowledge, such as knowing the scientific name of the species or its taxonomic cataloging, and recommends it against the fashion of capturing digital icons with Pokémon Go: "Seeing birds will always be better than catching pokémons," he added.
About 600 species of birds in the Iberian Peninsula
The pursuits of Pikachus, Charmanders or virtual Ratatas can be replaced by the location and computer documentation of some of the almost six hundred species of birds that live or migrate in the Iberian Peninsula and that each year attract thousands of observers and ornithologists, he added .
This veterinarian, expert in conservation biology and nature photographer has indicated the similarity between bird watching and catching pokémon, but undoubtedly puts "the pleasure" of observing birds enjoying nature before looking for digital icons in landscapes urban, often overcrowded.
"The birdwatchers also make lists of their observations, they get excited when they get a species that they had not seen before and they also carry out a collecting work", he highlighted.
Participant in projects for the conservation and improvement of biodiversity in half a dozen countries in the Americas and many others in Africa, Seminar has added that eBird "replaces" the traditional ornithologist's field notebook and allows to accumulate in real time "and in many different ways" a wide ornithological information that, in addition, is shared in real time through a large global data.
“E-Bird is already changing the way of working with ornithological observations, as we had known them, and its use by thousands of interested in ornithology in some countries has shown that they are increasingly able to see more birds in their area and to improve their ability to identify species ”, he added.
Update ornithological atlases
In the case of the United States, the thousands of observers who have used this application have helped update the North American ornithological atlas, which covers the United States, Canada and Mexico, with more precise data on many species and on their habits and migrations.
This application, in his opinion, "helps to create citizen science" and its thousands of users collaborate with scientists and conservators "because they automatically provide thousands of data that help to do science and make conservation decisions since all observations go to a great free access world database ”, he recalled.
Yerai Seminario, a member of the American Peregrine Foundation as an expert on raptors, settled in Tarifa (Cádiz) in 2014, where he works as an ornithological guide at Birding The Strait and collaborates as an expert in the study of the annual migration of hundreds of thousands of birds across the Strait of Gibraltar.
Interest in applications for electronic devices related to ornithology has increased in recent years, as evidenced by the fact that the one promoted by the Spanish Ornithological Society (SEO) to identify bird species from the Iberian Peninsula has already exceeded 50,000 downloads. in little more than two years.Ecoportal.net