Using large-scale citizen science ringing data as a means of calculating maximum longevity in birds
Keywords:SAFRING, banding, Passeriformes, Passerine, senescence, lifespan, age
This article calculates estimates of avian longevity for southern African Passeriformes and demonstrates the impact citizen scientists have on data volumes curated by the South African Bird Ringing Unit (SAFRING). We calculated taxon-specific longevity records for 341 species from 33 families using ringing data collected between 1948 and 2017. An increase in active ringer participation over time correlated positively with an increase in retrap and recovery data, allowing for more reliable longevity calculations. These results highlight the significant contribution citizen scientists have made to bird ringing in southern Africa and identify data-deficient taxa to which future ringing activities should be targeted.