Using the Mackinnon Lists Method
Using the Mackinnon Lists Method
Review of literature on research studies of the state of ecological conditions directed at conservation of global bird habitats shows the Mackinnon Lists method a pragmatic approach to resolving some of the inherent problematic issues connected to this scientific field of study by eliminating overlapping statistics. Developed for the study of tropical forest bird habitats and populations in 1993, the Mackinnon Lists method uses a mathematical framework the following provides for understanding the benefit of using this method focusing on bird species in global regions including Gallon Jug, Belmopan, Cockscom, and Punta Gorda (Dawson et al, 2011; .
According to Bibby, Jones, and Marsden (1998), Dawson et al, (2011), O’Dea, Watson, and Whittaker, (2004) and, Gear, (2007) using the Mackinnon method for calculating allows developing an index of the relative abundance of bird species as noted in specific tropical areas listed above. The use of the Mackinnon Lists method differs from other techniques because of the time it takes for an observer to record specific numbers of pre-determined species of birds for the target habitat. “The advantage of this is that it makes the method relatively less susceptible to differences in ability and concentration of the observer (Bibby et al, 1998, p. 88).” This considers the longer amount of time an inexperienced observer takes identifying the target species not affecting the results as long as all species detected are eventually identified. Further, using the Mackinnon List method provides “a standardised sampling method which allows accurate quantitative comparison of species richness between sites and habitats which has been successfully used in other tropical forest locations (Dawson et al, 2011, p. 321).”
The list created using the Mackinnon method requires recording each new species fitting the predetermined total amount and recording the species only once for each list including subsequent lists typically with variation between 8 and 20 bird species with the larger number of bird species making the total number for the site taking longer to complete. Creating surveys means no less than 10 lists but ideally 15 for each site with different ground covered from one list to the next thus avoiding recording specific individual birds on subsequent repeated lists.
Woog, Renner, and Fjeldså (2010) explain using such a methodology as the Mackinnon List provides improvement on the quality of data according to species counts while both time and space applications improve encounter rates as well as species discovery curves. “Quantitative methods are, in general, more time consuming and require more interventions from foreigners and from corrupt administrations (p. 566).” Using research for ecological purposes remains the critical underlying purpose of recording the numbers of birds among species aligned to ecological purposes remains protecting habitats (Miller, 2008). “Where the birds’ habitat is natural or influenced by man, questions can be raised about how those differing habitats influence the variety and abundance of species (Gear, 2007, p. 11).”
The intention of the information provided above shows how research literature on studies on the state of ecological conditions directed at conservation of global bird habitats shows the Mackinnon Lists method a pragmatic approach to resolving some of the inherent problematic issues connected to this scientific field of study with elimination of overlapping statistics. Every effort for protecting bird habitats and reducing the loss of species looks to quality research methods provided by such valuable tools as the Mackinnon List process offers.
Bibby, C. Jones, M., & Marsden, S. (1998). Expedition Field Techniques – Bird Surveys.
Expedition Advisory Centre. London.
Dawson, J., Turner, C., Pileng, O., Farmer, A., McGary, C., Walsh, C., Tamblyn, A., & Yosi, Cossey. (2011). Bird communities of the lower Waria Valley, Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea: a comparison between habitat types. Mongabay.com Open Access Journal - Tropical Conservation Science. 4(3): pp. 317-348.
Gear, A. (2007). A rapid assessment of the avifauna of Isla Del Rey, Las Perlas Archipelago, Panama. Retrieved from http://www.stri.si.edu/sites/darwin_initiative/PDFs/DIW_Gear_A2007_MSc_Dissertation.pdf
Maccormick, A. (2007). Biodiversity Rapid Assessment Techniques: MacKinnon Lists. Retrieved from http://patca.zerofive.co.uk/documents/workshop_may_2007/pdf/INTRO_Survey_Techniques_MacKinnons_Lists.pdf
Miller, C. M. (2000). Corridor Use in an Agricultural Landscape at Gallon Jug, Belize, Central America.
Woog, F., Renner, S.C., & Fjeldså, J. (2010). Chapter 21 - Tips for bird surveys and censuses in countries without existing monitoring schemes. Eymann, J., Degreef, J., et al. (Eds.). Volume 8 - Manual on Field Recording Techniques and Protocols for All Taxa Biodiversity Inventories. Retrieved from