BIRD AREAS CONFERENCE
AUGUST 11, 2004 TO
the BirdLife International Partner for the U.S., Audubon hosted
the first Western Hemisphere IBA meeting from the 11th to the 15th
of August 2004 at the Windemere Hotel and Conference Center in Sierra
Vista, Arizona. This was the fourth IBA meeting Audubon has organized
but the first with extensive international participation. The event
was an opportunity to share successes and discuss the future direction
of IBA conservation in the U.S. and throughout the hemisphere. Over
125 individuals attended the event, from 44 states and territories
of the U.S and 16 countries including the Bahamas, Belize, Bolivia,
Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico,
Panama, Paraguay, Uruguay, and the United Kingdom. In addition to
program staff, representatives from many IBA program partners participated
in the meeting such as staff from Arizona State Parks, Bureau of
Land Management, Canadian Nature Federation, Canadian Wildlife Service,
Department of Defense-Partners in Flight, Intermountain West Joint
Venture, International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies,
National Park Service Park Flight Program, Prairie Pothole Joint
Venture, Sonoran Joint Venture, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,
U.S. Forest Service, and several state wildlife agencies.
the three days of the conference, presentations focused on the current
status and future direction of the program globally, at a hemispheric
level, the national level and the local level. Generally participants
focused on the status of bird conservation, and examples of efforts
to coordinate and link bird conservation efforts. One highlight
of the meeting was Audubon's debut of its new web based IBA database.
workshops and discussion groups offered attendees a chance to further
discuss IBA tools and conservation approaches. Specific sessions
that attendees participated in were: IBAs and GIS; IBAs throughout
the Hemisphere; IBAs and Joint Ventures; U.S. IBA Database Training;
IBA Criteria Training; IBA Monitoring; Community Participation and
IBAs, Working with Landowners. One afternoon was devoted solely
to the discussion of regional IBA conservation efforts. The hemisphere
was divided up in to: West U.S. and Canada; Mexico; Southeast U.S.
and Caribbean; Midwest U.S. and Canada; Central and South America;
Northeast U.S. and Canada.
presentations offered variety to the schedule, with local Audubon
chapter members joining the group for one of the presentations focused
on research surveying minorities involved in birding. Another evening
session focused on conservation planning and IBAs. In addition to
the presentations and discussions, more than 24 posters were prepared
by various attendees to showcase and summarize current U.S. and
international projects related to Important Bird Areas.
a break from the more formal conference sessions, participants
spent one morning birding nearby IBAs. With the assistance of
local volunteers attendees visited Fort Huachuca, the San Pedro
River, and the Huachuca Mountains. On these trips, many observed
the area specialties, including Elegant Trogon, Spotted Owl, Sulphur-bellied
Flycatcher, and approximately 11 species of hummingbirds.
19 October 2004
copyright 2004, by National Audubon Society, Inc. All rights reserved.