Bird Areas >
will Important Bird Areas help birds?
Important Bird Areas Program helps birds by setting science-based
priorities for habitat conservation and promoting positive
action to safeguard vital bird habitats.
identification of IBAs is an important first step in larger
bird conservation initiatives. IBA inventories provide a scientifically
defensible method for prioritizing conservation activities
and allocating limited conservation dollars to ensure the
maximum benefit to birds.
Walker Golder. Audubon-NC teamed up with a local land
trust and the State of North Carolina to launch the
Lea-Hutaff Conservation Initiative with the goal of
acquiring the island for conservation. After passage
of special state legislation, the approval of two significant
grant requests, and the donation of private funds, enough
monies were secured to purchase significant portions
of this IBA.
IBA Program offers opportunities to engage volunteers in monitoring
and conservation projects at IBAs, promoting local stewardship
and advocacy. The IBA program is therefore a starting point
for site-based conservation efforts, and stakeholders are
included in the process at many levels.
Conservation activities at IBAs reflect the unique circumstances of each site (e.g. size, location, and ownership). For example, public areas may be conserved by open-space acquisition and by working with land managers to improve habitat management practices for key species of birds. Private lands may be conserved through public-private partnerships such as easements, and through landowner education.
The North American Bird
Conservation Initiative (NABCI) is an attempt to coordinate
bird conservation efforts throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico.
The IBA Program contributes to this initiative by identifying
the most important sites at which to implement large-scale
conservation efforts to ensure the protection of all bird
species in all habitats. Audubon has agreements with two of
the NABCI partners (the U.S. Shorebird Conservation Plan and
the North American Waterbird Conservation Plan) to identify
IBAs throughout the country that support significant shorebird
and waterbird populations. Audubon also works in cooperation
with Partners in Flight to identify IBAs that are critical
Stories page to learn more about the conservation activities
that are helping birds at Important Bird Areas throughout
13 September 2011