Pattern and Change
Much of the focus of the Bird Atlas project was concerned with producing maps of the distribution or abundance of particular species. However, the data allow many ways to explore other patterns. For example, we can group species together to identify the parts of Britain and Ireland where they are faring particularly well or especially poorly. Chapter 6 of the Atlas, concerned with pattern and change, shows a number of maps for sets of species grouped according to taxonomy or ecology. For example, the map to the right shows how the abundance of a group of breeding waders has changed between 1988–91 and 2008–11, indicating that in many parts of Britain and western Ireland, breeding waders are in steep decline. BirdWatch Ireland are using this information to target areas for conservation.