We are delighted to announce the results of the 2016 eBird-India data challenge! The challenge was to download eBird data from India, and analyse, summarise, & visualise it into something new and interesting.
We received six entries in all, some from individuals; others from people working in teams. Descriptions of each of the entries are below. Our panel of esteemed jury members had a difficult time deciding which entry stood out ahead of the others. They finally decided on a winning entry, which was submitted by
Congratulations, Aditya — you have won five stunning framed photographs of Indian wildlife and landscapes, plus a copy of the book One Wild Bird At a Time: Portraits of Individual Lives, by Bernd Heinrich.
A brief description of each of the entries is below, in alphabetical order. Thank you to every one of you for your interest and efforts!
eBird data for Uttara Kannada district in Karnataka: Comparisons with historical studies, data interpretation and geographical data gaps
In this project, Aditya compared eBird records from Uttara Kannada district against comprehensive bird lists prepared in the past 150 years to examine which species are expected but have not been reported recently. He also examined the spatial distribution of eBirded locations in the district, concluding that birding activity was very skewed to a single location. An analysis of reporting frequency suggested a bias against common birds, possibly resulting from the kinds of locations that are preferred for birding.
[Distribution analysis of India species]
In this project, Ajay assessed the distribution of selected bird species across India, and then asked how closely these distributions matched those given in standard field guides. The found a close correspondence between the two, but also suggested further analyses of multiple species in all seasons.
Angel Luis Robles Fernandez
[Gaps and information in India bird data]
In this project, Angel calculated an index of effort for each list; and summed up the total effort index for different bioregions of India to create a map depicting how eBirdig effort varies across the country. The project also looked at some macroecological patterns, including monthly richness maps of India, and other such patterns.
Asani Bhaduri and team
Birds of India: A perspective of IUCN categories from eBird dataset
This project intended to uncover the best birding spots for birds of different threat categories — especially “Least Concern” species. It also identified “Least Concern” species unique to each State. A similar analysis was carried out for species in other IUCN threat categories, including Near Threatened, Vulnerable, Endangered, and Critically Endangered, with particular attention to the Critically Endangered Gyps vulture.
[What are the best locations to find particular species?]
Karthik took eBird data from the state of Karnataka to ask, for a subset of species, which locations are the best places to find a given species. He also examined the counts of these species over the four-year period 2012-2016 to ask whether counts have increased, decreased or stayed roughly the same.
Not of a feather but flock together
This project examined the propensity of pairs of species to occur together in lists, which would imply that they either share key habitat requirements, or they depend on each other in some way. The project first looked at pairwise co-occurrences, but since those could be explained simply by two species occurring in the same geography, Siddhartha also conducted further analyses to take into account geographic co-occurrence, to get into more detail.
Thank you and well done to all those who entered the Data Challenge!
Note: in view of the small number of entries, the panel of jury members decided not to award any special mention prizes.