The Atlas data are used to:
  • Compare the current distribution and abundance of birds to the previous Atlas.
  • Assess the value of tree planting and revegetation programs to birds.
  • Monitor long-term changes in habitat and the effect of these changes on birds.
  • Help to establish sustainable land-use systems.

See also: Interpreting Atlas data



The Atlas would not have been possible without the army of volunteer bird watchers that we call Atlassers. Over 7000 of these dedicated people have participated in the Atlas over its life. New Atlassers continue to join the project but we can always use more help.


Become an Atlasser

Anyone with a pair of binoculars, a field guide and an interest in birds can take part in the Atlas - you don't need to be an expert. It's enough to have a good familiarity with the birds in the areas where you would most likely do Atlas surveys. It could even be your back yard - all data is useful.

Atlassers record the bird species seen in specific areas, along with the date, time and type of survey. Atlassers are registered by BirdLife Australia and sent a kit with instructions on how to participate. Data can be subitted on paper forms or through the data entry interface of Birdata.

If you would like to become an Atlasser, please contact the Birds Australia atlas team on 03 9347 0757 or

The Atlas of Australian Birds and Birdata

The Atlas

The Atlas is one of BirdLife Australia's most important projects and is the largest continent-wide survey of birds in the world.

The first Atlas ran between 1977 and 1981 collecting data in one degree grid cells. The results of this project were published in book form in 1984. The new Atlas has been running since 1998 and has collected over 6 million bird records. In 2004 the project won the coveted Eureka Award for Biodiversity research.

By analysing these two databases, BirdLife Australia can measure which birds have declined, increased, or changed their range over that 20 year period. By continuing the Atlas indefinately, we will be able to better monitor the State of Australia's Birds into the future.


About Birdata

Birdata is a partnership between Birds Australia and the Tony and Lisette Lewis Foundation's WildlifeLink program to collect and make Birds Australia data available online.

See also: Birdata credits


Atlas aims

The broad aims of the Atlas are to: