Important Bird Area

An Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) is an area identified using an internationally agreed set of criteria as being globally important for the conservation of bird populations.

IBA was developed and sites are identified by BirdLife International. Currently there are over 12,000 IBAs worldwide.[1] These sites are small enough to be entirely conserved and differ in their character, habitat or ornithological importance from the surrounding habitat. In the United States the Program is administered by the National Audubon Society.[2]

Often IBAs form part of a country's existing protected area network, and so are protected under national legislation. Legal recognition and protection of IBAs that are not within existing protected areas varies within different countries. Some countries have a National IBA Conservation Strategy, whereas in others protection is completely lacking.[3]

Frank Lake (South) IBA, Alberta, Canada.


IBAs are determined by an internationally agreed set of criteria. Specific IBA thresholds are set by regional and national governing organizations. To be listed as an IBA, a site must satisfy at least one of the following rating criteria:[4]

  • A1. Globally threatened species

The site qualifies if it is known, estimated or thought to hold a population of a species categorized by the IUCN Red List as Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable. In general, the regular presence of a Critical or Endangered species, irrespective of population size, at a site may be sufficient for a site to qualify as an IBA. For Vulnerable species, the presence of more than threshold numbers at a site is necessary to trigger selection.

  • A2. Restricted-range species

The site forms one of a set selected to ensure that all restricted-range species of an Endemic Bird Area (EBA) or a Secondary Area (SA) are present in significant numbers in at least one site and preferably more.

  • A3. Biome-restricted species

The site forms one of a set selected to ensure adequate representation of all species restricted to a given biome, both across the biome as a whole and for all of its species in each range state.

  • A4. Congregations
    • i.This applies to 'waterbird' species as defined by Delaney and Scott[5] and is modelled on criterion 6 of the Ramsar Convention for identifying wetlands of international importance. Depending upon how species are distributed, the 1% thresholds for the biogeographic populations may be taken directly from Delaney & Scott, they may be generated by combining flyway populations within a biogeographic region or, for those for which no quantitative thresholds are given, they are determined regionally or inter-regionally, as appropriate, using the best available information.
    • ii.This includes those seabird species not covered by Delaney and Scott (2002). Quantitative data are taken from a variety of published and unpublished sources.
    • iii.This is modelled on citerion 5 of the Ramsar Convention for identifying wetlands of international importance. The use of this criterion is discouraged where quantitative data are good enough to permit the application of A4i and A4ii.
    • iv.The site is known or thought to exceed thresholds set for migratory species at bottleneck sites.[6]

The assessment by expert individuals is however not entirely reliable and a study in South America found that the coverage needed for at-risk bird conservation as chosen by computational algorithms rarely overlapped with IBAs and suggested that such methods should be used to complement expert driven IBA site choices.[7]

See also


  1. ^ "Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) | BirdLife". Retrieved 2016-01-15.
  2. ^ "Important Bird Areas Program, A Global Currency for Bird Conservation, National Audubon Society". 2009-01-28. Retrieved 2013-11-13.
  3. ^ "Important Bird Areas (IBA). In: UNEP-WCMC. 2010. A-Z Guide of Areas of Biodiversity Importance. UNEP-WCMC. Cambridge, UK.". Retrieved 2013-11-13.
  4. ^ "Global IBA Criteria". Birdlife International. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
  5. ^ Delaney and Scott(2002) Waterbird Population Estimates Third Edition, Wetlands International, Wagenigen, The Netherlands
  6. ^ BirdLife International, 2008,Global IBA Criteria, retrieved 2008-9-27
  7. ^ Niall O’Dea,* Miguel B. Araújo and Robert J. Whittaker (2006) How well do Important Bird Areas represent species and minimize conservation conflict in the tropical Andes? Diversity and Distributions 12:205–214
Bertha's Beach Important Bird Area

Bertha's Beach Important Bird Area comprises 3300 ha of coastal wetlands at the entrance to Choiseul Sound, on the east coast of East Falkland, in the Falkland Islands. It lies about 8 km south-east of Mount Pleasant Airport and 40 km south-west of Stanley. It has been identified by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area (IBA) because of its significancer for a variety of migratory waders and other waterbirds. Overlapping it is the 4000 ha Bertha's Beach Ramsar site, recognising it as a wetland of international importance.

Billiatt Conservation Park

Billiatt Conservation Park (formerly Billiatt National Park) is a protected area in South Australia midway between Alawoona and Lameroo, approximately 200 km east of Adelaide city centre.

Bundarra-Barraba Important Bird Area

The Bundarra-Barraba Important Bird Area lies in the Northern Tablelands of north-eastern New South Wales, Australia. It is important for the conservation of the endangered regent honeyeater and is classified as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by BirdLife International.

Cierva Point and offshore islands Important Bird Area

The Cierva Point and offshore islands Important Bird Area is a 6540 ha tract of land and sea on the Danco Coast of the Antarctic Peninsula.

Coffin Bay National Park

Coffin Bay National Park is a protected area in on the Eyre Peninsula of South Australia, Australia, which is located about 301 km west of Adelaide and about 46 km west of Port Lincoln. The town of Coffin Bay is near the entrance to the national park. The national park occupies the Coffin Bay Peninsula - a long peninsula with a sheltered bay to its north, coastal dunes, swamps and a coastline which overlooks islands, reefs, limestone cliffs and white surf beaches.

To the east of Point Avoid are Almonta and Gunyah Beaches, used for surfing. Reefs extend out to sea from Point Avoid to Golden Island with Price Island further out. There is a camping area at Yangie Bay with camping fees payable on entry to the National Park. Access to the majority of the park's area north of Yangie Bay is via four wheel drive tracks only.

The historic former Coffin Bay Whaling Site at Point Sir Isaac lies within the national park and is listed on the South Australian Heritage Register.

East of Nelly Point Important Bird Area

East of Nelly Point Important Bird Area is a 35 ha, ice-free tract of land on the south-eastern coast of Elephant Island, in the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica. It is a small, unnamed headland, some 2.5 km east of Nelly Point, which has been referred to unofficially as Chinstrap Camp. The site has been identified as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by BirdLife International because it supports a large breeding colony of about 24,000 pairs of chinstrap penguins.

Gawler Ranges National Park

Gawler Ranges National Park is a 1,633 km2 (631 sq mi) protected area lying 350 km (217 mi) north-west of Adelaide in the northern Eyre Peninsula of South Australia. It is known for its spectacular rock formations.

Goose Island Conservation Park

Goose Island Conservation Park is a protected area in the Australian state of South Australia, located on Goose Island and other islets in the vicinity of Wardang Island in Spencer Gulf. The constituent islands are located within 5 kilometres (3.1 miles) to 12 kilometres (7.5 miles) in the sector between west and north west of Port Victoria.The conservation park was proclaimed in 1972 to ‘conserve an offshore breeding and refuge area for sea-birds and the Australian sea lion (Neophoca cinerea).’ The conservation park consists of the following islands: Goose Island, Little Goose Island, Seal Rocks and White Rocks located to the immediate north of Wardang Island with Beatrice Rock, Island Point and Rocky Island all located to the east of Wardang Island, and Boat Rock and Bikini Islets being located on the west side of Wardang Island.The conservation park is classified as an IUCN Category III protected area.

Gum Lagoon Conservation Park

Gum Lagoon Conservation Park (formerly the Gum Lagoon National Park) is an 8765 ha protected area about 40 km south-west of Keith in the Limestone Coast region of South Australia. It lies about 20 km inland from the southern end of the Coorong. It contains an isolated block of mallee woodland important for malleefowl conservation.

Hastings-Macleay Important Bird Area

The Hastings-Macleay Important Bird Area is a 1148 km2 tract of land stretching for 100 km along the Mid North Coast of New South Wales, Australia, from Stuarts Point in the north to the Camden Haven River in the south. It is bounded on the west by the Pacific Highway. It combines ephemeral floodplain wetlands with coastal swamp forests. It is mostly cattle-grazed but contains large blocks of state forest, protected areas and tea-tree plantations.

Ilhéu de Curral Velho and adjacent coast Important Bird Area

The Ilhéu de Curral Velho and adjacent coast Important Bird Area lies in the southeastern part of the island of Boa Vista in the Cape Verde archipelago off the coast of north-west Africa in the Atlantic Ocean. It is a 986 ha site consisting of the Ilhéu de Curral Velho, as well as the area opposite it on Boa Vista centred on the deserted village of Curral Velho. It was designated as a Ramsar wetland of international importance on July 18, 2005.

The 0.77 ha (1.9-acre) Ilhéu de Curral Velho is an unvegetated, heavily eroded, calcareous rock, 15 metres (49 ft) in height, lying some 500 m (1,600 ft) off the southernmost point of Boavista. The island and a 41 ha marine area around it are a protected nature reserve (Reserva Natural Integral Ilhéu de Curral Velho).The area on the main island consists of sand-dunes, a lagoon and an oasis with a vegetation dominated by palm trees, acacias and Tamarix senegalensis. It has a typical arid-zone flora and fauna. The sandy beaches are important nesting sites for threatened Hawksbill and Loggerhead sea turtles. Lizards found in the area include Chioninia stangeri and Hemidactylus bouvieri. The islet is a nesting area for the brown booby, magnificent frigatebird and Cape Verde shearwater. Birds breeding on the adjacent mainland coast include Iago sparrow, common kestrel, common quail, cream-colored courser, Kentish plover and many other species.

Lake Newland Conservation Park

Lake Newland Conservation Park is a protected area in the Australian state of South Australia located on the west coast of the Eyre Peninsula about 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) north of the town of Elliston. It was proclaimed in 1991 in order to protect Lake Newland, a hypersaline lake, and an associated wetland complex.

Melaleuca to Birchs Inlet Important Bird Area

The Melaleuca to Birchs Inlet Important Bird Area comprises a 2315 km2 section of coast and sub-coastal land in South West Tasmania. It stretches southward from the southern end of Birchs Inlet (where it adjoins the North-west Tasmanian Coast Important Bird Area), encompasses Melaleuca and Port Davey, and extends to Louisa Bay on the coast facing the Maatsuyker Island group. The area is rugged, with extensive beaches and coastal plains rising to rocky mountains. It contains a mosaic of temperate rainforest, eucalypt forest, moorland and buttongrass plains.

Monte Gordo, Cape Verde

Monte Gordo is a mountain on the island of São Nicolau, Cape Verde. At 1,312 m elevation, it is the island's highest point. It is situated in the western part of the island, 6 km west of the island capital Ribeira Brava. The mountain is of volcanic origin, less than 1 million years old. The boundary of the municipalities Tarrafal de São Nicolau and Ribeira Brava runs over the mountain. It is part of the Monte Gordo Natural Park.

Peebinga Conservation Park

Peebinga Conservation Park (formerly Peebinga National Park ) is a 34 km2 protected area lying 40 km north of the town of Pinnaroo in the Murray Mallee region of south-eastern South Australia, about 240 km east of Adelaide and 10 km west of the Victorian border.

Port Davey Islands Important Bird Area

The Port Davey Islands Important Bird Area comprises over 20 small, rocky islands scattered both within, and in the vicinity of, the mouth of Port Davey, an inlet on the south-west coast of Tasmania, Australia. They all lie within the Southwest National Park and are important for breeding seabirds.

Sir Joseph Banks Group

The Sir Joseph Banks Group is an archipelago in the Australian state of South Australia located in Spencer Gulf about 20 kilometres (12 mi) off the eastern coast of the Eyre Peninsula. It consists of 21 islands of which eighteen are in the Sir Joseph Banks Group Conservation Park while the surrounding waters are in the Sir Joseph Banks Group Marine Park. It is considered to be an important seabird breeding site.

South-east Tasmania Important Bird Area

The South-east Tasmania Important Bird Area encompasses much of the land retaining forest and woodland habitats, suitable for breeding swift parrots and forty-spotted pardalotes, from Orford to Recherche Bay in south-eastern Tasmania, Australia.

Three Sisters Island (Tasmania)

The Three Sisters Island or Three Sisters Islands are three small and rocky granite islands, with a collective land area of 2 hectares (4.9 acres), located in the Bass Strait, lying 500 metres (1,600 ft) off the north coast of Tasmania, Australia, between the towns of Penguin and Ulverstone.

The islands are steep-sided. Their vegetation of sparse coastal scrub is largely limited to their summits. Because landings are difficult owing to the lack of beaches and safe anchoring points they are little affected by human visitation and disturbance, although Australian fur seals haul-out on the lowest of them. Along with the neighbouring Goat Island, they are part of the 37-hectare (91-acre) Three Sisters – Goat Island Nature Reserve.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.