VM projects currently available:
Date started: 2012-08-08 16:17:27
BirdPix curates interesting and important photos of birds. There are no particular constraints on what can and cannot be submitted, apart from needing the locality information. It is an excellent place to deposit photos of species which are out of their normal ranges. For atlasers, it can be used to keep the photos of species for which “Out of Range Forms” (ORFs) were generated. For bird ringers, it can be used to store photos of birds in the hand which were for some reason interesting: for example, pictures showing unusual patterns of wing moult, plumage variation with age and sex, etc. Records submitted to BirdPix will be included as incidental records for mapping bird distributions.
Date started: 2012-03-13 14:42:59
Birds with all sorts of unusual plumage variations are observed from time to time. Nowadays, with digital photography, pictures of these birds are frequently available. BOP (Birds with Odd Plumage) aims to provide a place where the photographs can be curated into one database. Any bird with any unusual plumage characteristic qualifies for inclusion in the virtual museum. This will provide the opportunity to look for patterns. Do certain species have abnormal plumage more frequently than others? Do unusual plumage patterns occur more in some places than in others?
Date started: 2012-10-04 15:32:19
Echinoderms (starfish, sea-urchins, brittle-stars and their kin) are conspicuous and attractive marine animals, frequently photographed by divers. Although many can be identified from photographs, no comprehensive guide to South African species exists, making it difficult to accurately identify images. The fauna is also poorly know, making it very likely that divers will encounter species new to the region, or even to science. This site aims to collate all available images of echinoderms from South Africa, thus building up a comprehensive identification guide, as well as mapping the ranges of each species. Images of all South African echinoderms are welcomed and all contribute equally towards a better understanding of the distribution patterns of these fascinating creatures.
Date started: 1996
Web page: http://adu.org.za/frog_atlas.php
FrogMAP is the continuation of the Southern African Frog Atals Project (SAFAP). It aims to build on the distribution data collected during seven years of fieldwork (1996-2003), plus earlier data compiled from museum records, private collections, the literature and conservation agencies.
SAFAP data was used for the 2003 red listing of all frog species of the region, the results were published in the book Atlas and Red Data Book of the Frogs of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland, published by the Smithsonian Institution, USA.
Date started: July 2010
Web page: http://mammalmap.adu.org.za/
MammalMAP The Animal Demography Unit at UCT and the Mammal Research Institute at the University of Pretoria are collaborating to develop the MammalMAP, the Mammal Atlas of Africa. The Cape Leopard Trust was a key catalyst in initiating this project. The objective of MammalMAP is to generate 21st century distribution maps for as many of South Africa’s mammals.
MammalMAP consists of digital photographic records of mammals along with accurate geographical coordinates of where the pictures were taken. MammalMAP is limited to wild (or feral) mammals. So domestic animals are excluded, and so is Homo sapiens. But the golden rule that applies is: If in doubt, submit.
Date started: 22-Sep-2010
OdonataMAP is a Virtual Museum project aiming to: (1) map the current distribution of the insect Order Odonata, i. e. Dragonflies and Damselflies, occurring in Southern Africa; and (2) to serve as a repository of all existing distribution data for this group in the geographic extent of the project.
To participate in the Odonata VM you need to be a registered ADU observer. Close-up photographs of dragonflies or damselflies, along with date and locality information, including geographic coordinates are submited to the VM in the data upload section (available to logged users). The Virtual Museum allows you to upload a maximum of three images per record.
Please take the GPS coordinates as accurately as possible; alternatively you can also find your position on the Google Map available in the upload page, but this may be difficult if you are away from good landmarks.
Date started: July 2008
Web page: http://weavers.adu.org.za/
PHOWN (Photos of Weaver Nests) is a conservation project aimed at determining the distribution of colonies or nests of all weaver species globally. Counting weaver nests and taking photos allows monitoring of changes in weaver breeding effort. Many weavers are common while some weaver species are threatened; this project provides an easy way of monitoring them.
PHOWN is a project of the Animal Demography Unit (Department of Zoology, University of Cape Town).
Date started: 10 May 2005
Web page: http://sarca.adu.org.za
ReptileMAP is the continuation of the Southern African Reptile Conservation Assessment (SARCA). It aims to improve our understanding of the diversity and distribution of reptiles in South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland, and thereby make possible an improvement in the conservation status of these animals.
ReptileMAP also aims to improve public awareness of the value and plight of reptiles and also provide conservation agencies with a clear definition of conservation priorities that will help them to plan their activities.
Date started: May 2007
Web page: http://sabca.adu.org.za
SABCA is a conservation project aimed at determining the distribution and conservation priorities of all butterfly species in South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland.
SABCA is a joint project of the Animal Demography Unit (Department of Zoology, University of Cape Town), the South African National Biodiversity Institute and The Lepidopterists' Society of Africa.
Date started: 2013-03-04 11:26:42
Scorpions are conspicuous and attractive terrestrial animals, and are frequently photographed. Images of all African Scorpions are welcomed and all contribute equally towards a better understanding of the distribution patterns of these fascinating creatures.
Scorpions have captivated much interest by scolars by their great antiquity and the amazing suite of biochemical, physiological, behavioral, and ecological adaptations that have combined to ensure their continued success over the past 450 million years.
Scorpions have a wide geographical distribution and live on all major land masses except Antarctica. Although some species are quite specific in (micro)habitat requirements, many exhibit a high degree of plasticity in habitat use. However, the distribution of most species is poorly known and in most cases it is based on a handful of museum records.
Date started: 2010-12-01Southern African Atlas of trees
Instructions for the Virtual Tree Herbarium:
Most trees can be identified with photographs of their bark, their leaves and their flowers and/or fruit. Try to take pictures of all of these, from the same tree. The Virtual Museum allows you to upload a maximum of three images per record. If you are a tree expert, and you know that a photograph of a particular feature provides certain identification, then you can upload just that picture into VITH.
Please take the GPS coordinates, as accurately as you are able, as close to the tree as feasible. You can enter these into VITH in three formats (decimal degrees DD.DDDDD, degrees and decimal minutes DD MM.MMM, and degree minutes and decimal seconds DD MM SS.S). You can also find your position on the Google Map, but this may be difficult if you are away from good landmarks.
If you are walking a transect, the strategy we would suggest you adopt is to take a set of photographs of each species you encounter. Feel free to repeat a species if about a kilometre has passed since last you photographed it.