Range change map for the Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk
This range change map between SABAP1 and SABAP2 contains a surprise. The species we are examining is the Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk. It is a conspicuous and easily identified raptor. There are 103 BLUE quarter degree grid cells (QDGCs) where the species has only been recorded in SABAP2 and not in SABAP1. There are 444 GREEN cells, where the SABAP2 reporting rate is higher than it was in SABAP1. There are 15 YELLOW cells, with arithmetically identical reporting rates. There are 304 ORANGE cells where the SABAP2 reporting rate is less than that for SABAP1, and 242 RED cells where the species was recorded in SABAP1 but has not been recorded for SABAP2. A lastly, because a lot of this species's range in in the rather poorly covered Northern Cape, there are 151 PINK cells, where the species occurred in SABAP1, but for which we do not yet have SABAP2 data.
The BLUE areas show where possible range expansion has occurred. There are two areas where the BLUEs are a bit clustered, rather than simply scattered randomly across the accidental gaps in the range which are a consequence of less than perfect coverage for this species in SABAP1. These are in the Free State and Lesotho, and in the Overberg region of the Western Cape.
The QDGCs adjacent to these BLUE QDGCs are mostly GREEN, with increased reporting rates. But how large have these increases been? This is shown in the lower two maps, for the Free State and Overberg. The top number in the QDGC is the SABAP1 reporting rate, the lower number the SABAP2 reporting rate. It is striking that many of the reporting rate increases are by quite large amounts (and most of the decreases are quite small!). So it does seem that Southern Pale Chanting Goshawks are on the increase in these two regions.
Across Limpopo and North West, the REDs and ORANGEs seem to predominate, and possibly this species is decreasing across these areas.
To quantify these changes properly, what we badly need is a proper raptor monitoring project, similar to the CAR Project, but focusing on raptors, rather than the large terrestrial species which are the main focus of CAR.
We also need, somehow, to remove in all the PINK QDGCs in the Northern Cape. There are 151 in the range-change map for this species, more than 10% of its range
Is there anyone reading this who is passionate to sponsor a raptor monitoring project, or who feels so strongly about the Karoo, especially in the light of concerns about fracking, that they would like to enable us to put a SABAP2 fieldworker in this region?
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