An Excellent Grassroots Bird Conservation Idea - IBAs

(Photo is a Western Tanager)

The other day on the BirdChat listserv, someone mentioned a concept in bird conservation that I was unfamiliar with - Important Bird Areas (IBAs). I looked into it and this seems like an excellent grassroots kind of a project that "regular" birders can be involved with if they so choose. This international in scope project is run in the U.S. by the National Audubon Society (NAS). According to the NAS:

"The IBA Program helps birds by setting science-based priorities for habitat
conservation and promoting positive action to safeguard vital bird habitats."

The NAS says here is what you can do to help:

  • Nominate a site or organize volunteers to fill out nomination forms for sites in your area (contact your state IBA coordinator to find the status of nominations in your state).
  • Organize or participate in a bird survey at an IBA or potential IBA for a WatchList species. (Contact your state IBA coordinator for information).
  • Adopt an IBA and help to develop a conservation plan for the site in
    partnership with IBA staff and local stakeholders.
  • Volunteer for a project to restore habitat or eradicate invasive species at an IBA.
  • Advocate for land acquisition funds for an IBA where land acquisition is underway.
  • Recruit and organize volunteers to help an IBA managed by a refuge, State Park, or land trust.
  • Advocate for changes in laws and policies that would benefit birds of concern at IBAs.
  • Participate in a Christmas Bird Count in or near an IBA.
  • Develop a birding field trip program to IBAs in your area.
  • Develop a slide show or children’s education program to teach people about an IBA and the amazing bird stories connected with it.
  • Write articles and letters about IBAs in newsletters, magazines, newspapers,
    and other outlets to teach the public about the important bird habitats in their area.
  • Follow the Audubon At Home guidelines for a healthy yard, and encourage habitat management that is beneficial to the birds of concern at that IBA.
  • Help provide financial support to an IBA program (some Audubon chapters have donated Birdathon proceeds to IBA programs for example).
"IBAs have the unique power to unite people, communities, and organizations in proactive bird conservation, one place at a time"

- Frank Gill, Senior Ornithologist, National Audubon Society

I like it.

For more information on IBAs click here.

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