Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Globally significant bird populations by state

Today while reviewing population estimates for some North American landbirds, I noticed that I could rank bird species in a given US state or Canadian province by the percent of each species' global population represented.

I made a map showing the bird species with the highest percent of its global population falling within the boundaries of each state/province. Each state/province is labeled with the 4-letter code of the species and the percent of global population represented. Data come from the Partners in Flight Landbird Population Estimates Database.

Some caveats: 1) The data is for landbirds only, 2) The database does not include population estimates for all species, including some endangered and range-restricted species, 3) The Northwest Territories and Nunavut are lumped, and Washington DC and Hawaii are not included.

With these caveats aside, I still think this is a very informative map, because it provides data on local abundance relative to global abundance. Before looking at the map, pick your favorite state and try to guess the bird species!