Important Bird Areas
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Virginia Important Bird Areas



IBA Contact
Mary Elfner
IBA Coordinator


Audubon Links

Virginia Audubon Council

National Audubon Society


IBA Partners

Coastal Zone Management Program

VA Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

Virginia Society of Ornithology

Center for
Conservation Biology

VA IBA Nomination

Nomination Form (.pdf)

Instructions (.pdf)

Nomination Form (.doc)

Instructions (.doc)

Frequently Asked Questions about
Important Bird Areas

  • What is the IBA Program?

The IBA Program is a global effort to conserve bird populations.  Since its inception in the 1980's by BirdLife International, participation in the Program has spread to nearly every continent on the globe!  Audubon runs the IBA Program in the United States and is the official partner designate of BirdLife International. 

The primary goal of the Program is to identify the areas that provide to most essential habitat to nesting, migrating, or wintering birds and then work to better protect those areas.  Through this simple approach, millions of acres of habitat on over 10,000 IBAs have received better protection across the globe.  We have identified over 1,900 IBAs in the US alone and this number continues to grow.


  • What is an IBA?

    First of all, an IBA is not an "Important Birding Area" - it is an "Important (for) Bird Area". In other words, it's about the birds!

    Important Bird Areas, or IBAs, are sites that provide essential habitat for one or more species of birds. IBAs may be a few acres or thousands of acres, but they are usually discrete sites that stand out from the surrounding landscape. IBAs may include public or private lands, or both, and they may be protected or unprotected.

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  • How will IBAs help birds?
  • Good question! The 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.

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  • Why are IBAs important to me?
  • The IBA project is a grassroots effort that seeks to involve all people in every step of the process.  It offers everyone the opportunity to contribute to bird conservation through community involvement in specific and tangible bird conservation projects that will better protect our natural resources (See 'How can I get Involved with the Program). Effective conservation can only be accomplished with the participation and support of people like you! Supporting the IBA project through contribution of your personal time, research, and monies assures that the generations that follow us will have even greater opportunities to observe wildlife in it's natural habitat.

  • How can I get involved with the Program?

There are many ways for you to get involved in the IBA Program, either as a group or individually.  Volunteers are currently needed to assist in both IBA identification and conservation activities. Contact the IBA Coordinator, Mary Elfner, at, for current opportunities.

  • How do I find out more about the Virginia IBA Project?

    Contact the IBA Coordinator, Mary Elfner, at for more information on the Virginia IBA Project.



Back to VA IBA Home

Updated February 2012
copyright 2012 by National Audubon Society, Inc. All rights reserved.