Sunday, March 23, 2014

Digital Age and Birding

The introduction of digital photographic cameras has unleashed a revolution in the documentation of wildlife, both fauna and flora. With the expansion of the Internet it is now possible to take a photo and in a matter of minutes post it online and, if one doesn't know what the subject is, ask for ID online and very often the answer will also come within minutes. Brazilians have taken to photographing the rich wildlife of their country in large numbers. The web site Wiki Aves ( ) now has thousands of contributors and photos of 1816 of the 1901 species of birds so far registered in Brazil. Also interesting was the creation of two Facebook groups "IdentificaĆ§Ć£o de aves" (Bird ID group, ) and the Para-Wikiaves group ( ), which is a fascinating group, dedicated to the online identification of animals and plants of all kinds except birds! The name is a homage to the very successful Wiki Aves. Photos for ID have ranged from plants to insects in spider webs to footprints. For an example check this photo, taken by Oscar Brizzio, of a Jararacussu, a spectacular and very poisonous fer-de-lance (pit vipers in the genus Bothrops) from South America ( , this one photographed in the Atlantic forest of Sao Paulo state in SE Brazil).

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