Short Communication

Using large-scale citizen science ringing data as a means of calculating maximum longevity in birds

Dane M. Paijmans, Sanjo Rose, Hans-Dieter Oschadleus
Bothalia | Vol 49, No 1 | a2389 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/abc.v49i1.2389 | © 2019 Dane M. Paijmans, Sanjo Rose, Hans-Dieter Oschadleus | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 July 2018 | Published: 17 October 2019

About the author(s)

Dane M. Paijmans, FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, DST-NRF Centre of Excellence, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
Sanjo Rose, FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, DST-NRF Centre of Excellence, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
Hans-Dieter Oschadleus, School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa


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Abstract

This article calculates estimates of avian longevity for southern African Passeriformes and demonstrates the impact citizen scientists have on data volumes curated by the South African Bird Ringing Unit (SAFRING). We calculated taxon-specific longevity records for 341 species from 33 families using ringing data collected between 1948 and 2017. An increase in active ringer participation over time correlated positively with an increase in retrap and recovery data, allowing for more reliable longevity calculations. These results highlight the significant contribution citizen scientists have made to bird ringing in southern Africa and identify data-deficient taxa to which future ringing activities should be targeted.

Keywords

SAFRING; banding; Passeriformes; Passerine; senescence; lifespan; age

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