Atlassing Guidelines

1. Ownership of data and map information

Data collected and maps published as part of the Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas are the property of the Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas (and Atlas partners) and may not be reproduced for publication without the consent of the Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas. Data submitted to the Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas will be peer-reviewed by ornithological experts. The Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas reserves the right to include or exclude data submitted to the project. Topographic maps provided for the purpose of collecting Atlas data may not be used for any other purposes or for gathering information on private lands aside from Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas data.

2. Privacy policy

Personal information of participants (including address, email and phone number) will not be shared with third parties, and will only be available to the atlas partner institutions and their staff, the Atlas Committee members, the Atlas Regional Coordinators (in regions for which you have provided data, or indicated an interest in participating) or other people designated by the Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas for atlas-related communications.

Unless you indicate otherwise to us in writing, you accept that your name may be included in data summaries, reports or any data product derived from the atlas database where appropriate.

3. Injury Liability

As a volunteer participant in the Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas you are fully responsible for your own safety, and for your own personal insurance in case of injury. You are not considered an employee of the Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas, Bird Studies Canada, the Canadian Wildlife Service, or any of our partners or sponsors. Please exercise great caution and care in the field when collecting data. We are also not responsible for damage incurred to vehicles while atlassing. Atlassers may be responsible for damage to landowners' property, so please be respectful and exercise caution when treading on private land. Be friendly and polite with landowners and remember that their permission is voluntary and that they are helping us all as the Atlas team to achieve our goals for good coverage.

4. The American Birding Association Principles of Birding Ethics

Everyone who enjoys birds and birding must always respect wildlife, its environment, and the rights of others. In any conflict of interest between birds and birders, the welfare of the birds and their environment comes first. Please ensure that you abide by the following principles at all time while atlassing. The Code of Birding Ethics was developed and made available by the American Birding Association.

CODE OF BIRDING ETHICS

1. Promote the welfare of birds and their environment.

1(a) Support the protection of important bird habitat.

1(b) To avoid stressing birds or exposing them to danger, exercise restraint and caution during observation, photography, sound recording, or filming.

Limit the use of recordings and other methods of attracting birds, and never use such methods in heavily birded areas, or for attracting any species that is Threatened, Endangered, or of Special Concern, or is rare in your local area;

Keep well back from nests and nesting colonies, roosts, display areas, and important feeding sites. In such sensitive areas, if there is a need for extended observation, photography, filming, or recording, try to use a blind or hide, and take advantage of natural cover.

Use artificial light sparingly for filming or photography, especially for close-ups.

1(c) Before advertising the presence of a rare bird publicly, evaluate the potential for disturbance to the bird, its surroundings, and other people in the area, and proceed only if access can be controlled, disturbance minimized, and permission has been obtained from private land-owners. The sites of rare nesting birds should be divulged only to your regional coordinator, the atlas staff or the proper conservation authorities.

1(d) Stay on roads, trails, and paths where they exist; otherwise keep habitat disturbance to a minimum.

2. Respect the law, and the rights of others.

2(a) Do not enter private property without the owner's explicit permission.

2(b) Follow all laws, rules, and regulations governing use of roads and public areas, both at home and abroad.

2(c) Practise common courtesy in contacts with other people. Your exemplary behavior will generate goodwill with birders and non-birders alike.

3. Ensure that feeders, nest structures, and other artificial bird environments are safe.

3(a) Keep dispensers, water, and food clean, and free of decay or disease. It is important to feed birds continually during harsh weather.

3(b) Maintain and clean nest structures regularly.

3(c) If you are attracting birds to an area, ensure the birds are not exposed to predation from cats and other domestic animals, or dangers posed by artificial hazards.

4. Group birding, whether organized or impromptu, requires special care.

Each individual in the group, in addition to the obligations spelled out in Items #1 and #2, has responsibilities as a Group Member.

4(a) Respect the interests, rights, and skills of fellow birders, as well as people participating in other legitimate outdoor activities. Freely share your knowledge and experience, except where code 1(c) applies. Be especially helpful to beginning birders.

4(b) If you witness unethical birding behavior, assess the situation, and intervene if you think it prudent. When interceding, inform the person(s) of the inappropriate action, and attempt, within reason, to have it stopped. If the behavior continues, document it, and notify appropriate individuals or organizations.

Group Leader Responsibilities [amateur and professional trips and tours].

4(c) Be an exemplary ethical role model for the group. Teach through word and example.

4(d) Keep groups to a size that limits impact on the environment, and does not interfere with others using the same area.

4(e) Ensure everyone in the group knows of and practises this code.

4(f) Learn and inform the group of any special circumstances applicable to the areas being visited (e.g. no tape recorders allowed).

4(g) Acknowledge that professional tour companies bear a special responsibility to place the welfare of birds and the benefits of public knowledge ahead of the company's commercial interests. Ideally, leaders should keep track of tour sightings, document unusual occurrences, and submit records to appropriate organizations.

Please follow this code and distribute and teach it to others

Bird Studies Canada Privacy Policy | Accessibility Policy
Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas, Bird Studies Canada, Box 24-200 Saulteaux Cr Winnipeg, MB R3J 3W3
Phone: 1-204-945-6816 E-mail: cartuso@bsc-eoc.org
Banner photo: Christian Artuso