Important Bird Areas

April 8, 2016
The Bear Swamp Natural Area in New Jersey is an Important Bird Area and owned by the Natural Lands Trust. Photo credit: Andrew Zepp

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The Important Bird Areas (IBA) Program is a global initiative of BirdLife International, implemented by Audubon and local partners in the United States. The IBA program identifies and aims to conserve areas that are vital to birds and other biodiversity. The goal of the program is to minimize the effects that habitat loss and degradation have on birds and other biodiversity. Land trusts have been an important partner of the IBA program.

What can Important Bird Areas offer land trusts?

Land trusts are invited to explore the IBA map. This map includes location and, conservation priority levels of Important Bird Areas throughout the United States. It also offers detailed information about why these sites have been identified as IBAs.

Land trusts use the IBA locations to help them identify priority areas for conservation in their strategic conservation plans, or IBAs may provide a justification for a grant or an easement on an existing priority area for the land trust. IBAs can also serve as a focal point for partnering with local or state Audubon chapters on land conservation. Conservation activities at IBAs are happening across the United States and range from land acquisition to habitat restoration, advocacy on the behalf of Important Bird Areas, and the education of local communities about their unique birds and bird habitats. You can learn about some of their recent achievements by visiting the Audubon Success Stories page.

Want to learn how other land trusts have used this resource? See a success story from Finger Lakes Land Trust.