Working for birds in Africa

ABC APP






 

INTRODUCTION

The African Bird Club is developing a series of free Birding Apps. Our first product, Birds of Mauritius, can be downloaded from the Google Play Store Birds of Mauritius and the Apple Store / iStore Birds of Mauritius. Birds of Mauritius has been downloaded by over 3,000 users and feedback has been very good. 

Our second App is Birds of Africa and the latest version is available to download from the Google Play Store Birds of Africa and the Apple Store / iStore Birds of Africa. It contains field guide content for species on the checklists of West Africa.

The Apps will operate on a variety of Android devices including Samsung Galaxy S7 and A8, and Tablet A6, and Apple / IOS devices including iPad, iPhones 5S, SE and 6S.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Birds of Africa is a huge project which would not have been possible without the help and support of many people across the world who have provided their time and resources to help conserve Africa's natural world and, in particular, its amazing birds.

This App is a field guide which can be used as an aid to identification and also to record bird sightings and maintain personal lists. It is intended to be used by ornithologists, national park wardens, bird watchers and anyone with an interest in African birds. The App is free to download by anyone who has an Android or IOS device. It is an African Bird Club asset which meets the Club's primary objectives of education, communication and the conservation of Africa's birds. Perhaps more importantly, we aim to increase people's environmental awareness and their appreciation of nature. We want to represent birds in a way that is fun, stimulating, cool and interactive and as a result, change people's perceptions of the natural world.

Sponsorship

We would like to thank Rockjumper Birding Ltd and Tasso Leventis who have provided financial and content support making significant contributions towards the development of the App.

Content

Thanks are due to the large number of people who have provided content and support for the App. There are far too many to name individually here although all providers of photographs and calls are named along with their content in the App itself. Particular mention should be made of the following people who have provided large numbers of excellent photographs: Adam Riley of Rockjumper Birding Ltd; Jacques de Spéville; Lionel Sineux, Nik Borrow, Paul van Giersbergen, Peter Hills and Tasso Leventis. Tomasz Kaliszewski provided many photos and bird sounds. Bram Piot, Peter Boesman and Etienne Leroy supplied the majority of bird sounds. Bob Dowsett supported the development of country checklists. Lincoln Fishpool provided much help with texts and photos of Greenbuls. Aurélien Audevard helped with French species and family names. Kelsey Park Birding Group provided support in many areas but were especially helpful during proof-reading. Judy Albrecht, Dave Curtis and Thierry Helsens tested the App in Togo, Ghana and Benin respectively and supported the development of the Lite checklists. Bloomsbury Publishing provided a licence to allow us to use text from the 8 volumes of The Birds of Africa.

Shiiwua Manu and Sam Ivande of A.P.Leventis Ornithological Research Institute (APLORI) in Nigeria responded positively to the development of the App and have provided ongoing help and support. In particular, Josiah Ibrahim helped enormously in the provision of texts and the editing of calls and has been an enthusiastic supporter of the App.

Special mention is due to Kevin Ravno of g-Bird who has combined technical vision and leadership with ornithological knowledge in the design and development of the App, and to Wessel Swanepoel of Mountain Hops Software who has translated the vision into a robust and usable App which meets the needs of African bird enthusiasts.

Finally, none of this would have been possible without the support of the trustees and members of the African Bird Club. Special thanks are due to Richard Charles and Phil Hall who supported the original concept for such an App some three years ago and have provided practical help and finance to bring this project to fruition.

 

Help Text

We have tried to make this App as user friendly as possible. Many users who are familiar with a range of smartphone and tablet birding Apps will probably not need to use the help text. However, we have found in usability trials that some features may need further explanation. You can find further details at https://africanbirdclub.org/abc-app-help-text.

Information for content providers

The Apps contain photos, calls, text and maps for each species. A large part of the work to date has been to develop templates which will define a set of rules for naming and building the content. Detailed information for the providers of App content can be found at https://africanbirdclub.org/abc-app-content-templates. The purpose of this web page is to specify the rules in order that multiple people can develop content to a consistent format and standard. The App will not display content correctly unless these rules are followed. 

Would you like to help the development effort?

The ongoing development and maintenance of Birds of Africa by the African Bird Club is a large task which will require significant help from ABC members and others. Some tasks require technical and ornithological skills but others such as proof-reading and publicity do not. If you would like to help with any of this work, please contact us at app@africanbirdclub.org.

John Caddick
Project Manager

Latest page update 13th April 2020

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