Important Bird Area
An Important Bird Area is an area recognized as being globally important habitat
Habitat (ecology)
A habitat is an ecological or environmental area that is inhabited by a particular species of animal, plant or other type of organism...

 for the conservation of bird
Birds are feathered, winged, bipedal, endothermic , egg-laying, vertebrate animals. Around 10,000 living species and 188 families makes them the most speciose class of tetrapod vertebrates. They inhabit ecosystems across the globe, from the Arctic to the Antarctic. Extant birds range in size from...

 populations. Currently there are about 10,000 IBAs worldwide. The program was developed and sites are identified by BirdLife International
BirdLife International
BirdLife International is a global Partnership of conservation organisations that strives to conserve birds, their habitats and global biodiversity, working with people towards sustainability in the use of natural resources...

. These sites are small enough to be entirely conserved and differ in their character, habitat or ornithological importance from the suroounding habitat. In the United States the Program is administered by the National Audubon Society
National Audubon Society
The National Audubon Society is an American non-profit environmental organization dedicated to conservation. Incorporated in 1905, Audubon is one of the oldest of such organizations in the world and uses science, education and grassroots advocacy to advance its conservation mission...


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.


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:
  • 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
IUCN Red List
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species , founded in 1963, is the world's most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of biological species. The International Union for Conservation of Nature is the world's main authority on the conservation status of species...

 as Critically Endangered
Critically Endangered
Critically Endangered is the highest risk category assigned by the IUCN Red List for wild species. Critically Endangered means that a species' numbers have decreased, or will decrease, by 80% within three generations....

, Endangered or Vulnerable
Vulnerable species
On 30 January 2010, the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species identified 9694 Vulnerable species, subspecies and varieties, stocks and sub-populations.-References:...

. 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 EBA or 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 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.

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.

Some IBAs

  • Capertee Valley
    Capertee Valley
    The Capertee Valley is a large valley in New South Wales, Australia, north-west of Sydney. It is longer and about wider than the Grand Canyon of Arizona...

    , New South Wales

Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Hutovo Blato
    Hutovo Blato
    Hutovo Blato is a nature reserve and bird reserve located in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is primarily composed of marshlands that were created by the underground aquifer system of the Krupa River. It is fed from the limestone massif of Ostrvo that divides the Deransko lake and Svitavsko lake.The...


  • Berlinguet Inlet
    Berlinguet Inlet
    Berlinguet Inlet is a body of water within the Qikiqtaaluk Region of Nunavut, Canada. It runs west-east at Admiralty Inlet's southern end, separated from Berlinguet Bay, which opens into the Gulf of Boothia, by a isthmus...

    , Nunavut
  • Boundary Bay
    Boundary Bay
    Boundary Bay is situated on the Pacific coast of North America on the border between the Canadian province of British Columbia and the U.S. state of Washington....

    , British Columbia
  • Leslie Street Spit
    Leslie Street Spit
    The Leslie Street Spit, or officially the Outer Harbour East Headland, is a man-made headland in Toronto, Ontario, extending from the city's east end in a roughly southwesterly direction into Lake Ontario. It is about 5 km long....

    , Ontario
  • Presqu'ile Provincial Park
    Presqu'ile Provincial Park
    Presqu'ile Provincial Park is a park in southeastern Northumberland County on the north shore of Lake Ontario near the town of Brighton in Ontario, Canada. The park occupies an area of ....

    , Ontario
  • Prince Edward Island National Park
    Prince Edward Island National Park
    Prince Edward Island National Park is a National Park located on Prince Edward Island. Situated along the island's north shore, fronting the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the park measures approximately 60 km in length and ranges from several hundred metres to several kilometres in width...

    , Prince Edward Island
  • Restigouche River
    Restigouche River
    The Restigouche River is a river that flows across the northwestern part of the province of New Brunswick and the southeastern part of Quebec....

    , New Brunswick and Quebec
  • Rondeau Provincial Park
    Rondeau Provincial Park
    Rondeau Provincial Park is a provincial park in southwestern Ontario, Canada, located on an 8 km long crescentic sand spit extending into Lake Erie. There are only two sand spits like this one in all of North America, one in Rondeau and one in Florida. Rondeau was established in 1894 as a response...

    , Ontario

  • Serranía de las Quinchas
    Serranía de las Quinchas
    The Serranía de las Quinchas is an 860 km2 area of tropical rainforest and cloud forest in Colombia. It lies in the mid Magdalena River Valley in the foothills of the Cordillera Oriental of the Colombian Andes. It ranges in altitude from 200 m to 1700 m asl...

  • Nigula Nature Reserve
    Nigula Nature Reserve
    Nigula Nature Reserve is a nature reserve situated in South-West of Estonia, in Häädemeeste and Saarde parishes of Pärnu County. It has an area of 63.98 km². Nigula nature reserve is one of the oldest bog reserves in Estonia...

  • Vanhankaupunginlahti
    Vanhankaupunginselkä is a bay area which together with parts of adjoining Viikki district constitute a natural conservation zone near downtown Helsinki in the southern part of Finland...

    , Helsinki

  • Kaziranga National Park
    Kaziranga National Park
    Kaziranga National Park is a national park in the Golaghat and Nagaon districts of the state of Assam, India. A World Heritage Site, the park hosts two-thirds of the world's Great One-horned Rhinoceroses. Kaziranga boasts the highest density of tigers among protected areas in the world and was...

  • Thane Creek
    Thane Creek
    Thane Creek is part of the estuary of the Ulhas River in western India opening into Mumbai Harbour. It comprises the area stretching from Mumbra Retibunder to the Mankhurd-Vashi Bridge. It has been recognised as an Important Bird Area by the Bombay Natural History Society, as it is home to...

  • Tyuleniy Archipelago
    Tyuleniy Archipelago (Kazakhstan)
    The Tyuleniy Archipelago or Tüledi Araldary is an island group in the northeastern Caspian Sea, located west of the Mangyshlak Peninsula and about 13 km NW of the Tupkaragan Peninsula, 27 km north of Bautino....

  • Phoenix Islands Protected Area
    Phoenix Islands Protected Area
    The Phoenix Islands Protected Area is located in the Republic of Kiribati, an ocean nation in the central Pacific approximately midway between Australia and Hawaii. PIPA constitutes 11.34% of Kiribati’s Exclusive Economic Zone and with a size of it is the largest marine protected area in the...

  • Al Shouf Cedar Nature Reserve
    Al Shouf Cedar Nature Reserve
    Al Shouf Cedar Nature Reserve is a nature reserve in the Chouf District of Lebanon. It is located on the slopes of Barouk mountain and has an area of 550 km², nearly 5.3% of the Lebanese territory....

  • Palm Islands Nature Reserve
    Palm Islands Nature Reserve
    The Palm Islands Nature Reserve consists of three flat, rocky islands of eroded limestone and the surrounding sea area, located offshore and northwest of Tripoli, Lebanon....

  • Lake Žuvintas
    Lake Žuvintas
    Lake Žuvintas is a shallow lake in Alytus district, central Lithuania. Area of Žuvintas Lake is 965 ha. It is the shallowest lake in Lithuania with the greatest depth 3 m and average only 0.6 m. It is a paradise for water birds, but also faces danger of becoming a swamp.-Nature reserve:It is a...

  • Belum-Temengor
    Belum-Temengor is the largest continuous forest complex in Peninsular Malaysia. Specifically, it is located in the Malaysian state of Perak and crosses into Southern Thailand. Belum-Temengor is divided into two sections. Belum is located at up north right by the Malaysia-Thailand border while...

  • Tanjung Tuan
    Tanjung Tuan
    Tanjung Tuan or Cape Rachado is an exclave of the state of Malacca, Malaysia. It is a cape with a lighthouse facing the Strait of Malacca...

  • Ludaš Lake
    Ludaš Lake
    Ludaš or Ludoš Lake is a shallow lake in the province of Vojvodina in northern Serbia, near Subotica. It is a special natural preserve and, since 1977, designated as a swamp area of international significance by the Ramsar Convention...

  • Cousin Island
    Cousin Island
    Cousin Island is a small granitic island of the Seychelles, lying 2 km SSW of Praslin. It is a nature reserve protected under Seychelles law as a Special Reserve and is run by Nature Seychelles, a national non-profit organization and Partner of BirdLife International .Until 1968, Cousin...

Sri Lanka
  • Horton Plains National Park
    Horton Plains National Park
    Horton Plains National Park is a protected area in the central highlands of Sri Lanka and is covered by montane grassland and cloud forest. This plateau at an altitude of is rich in biodiversity and many species found here are endemic to the region. This region was designated a national park in...

  • Kaudulla National Park
    Kaudulla National Park
    Kaudulla National Park is a national park on the island of Sri Lanka located away from the largest city, Colombo. It was designated a national park on April 1, 2002 becoming the 15th such area on the island. In the 2004–2005 season more than 10,000 people visited the National Park, generating an...

  • Minneriya National Park
    Minneriya National Park
    Minneriya National Park is a national park in North Central Province of Sri Lanka. The area was designated as a national park on 12 August 1997, having been originally declared as a wildlife sanctuary in 1938. The reason for declaring the area as protected is to protect the catchment of Minneriya...

  • Sinharaja Forest Reserve
    Sinharaja Forest Reserve
    Sinharaja Forest Reserve is a national park and a biodiversity hotspot in Sri Lanka. It is of international significance and has been designated a Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site by UNESCO....

  • Wasgamuwa National Park
  • Yala National Park
    Yala National Park
    Yala National Park is the most visited and second largest national park in Sri Lanka. Actually it consists of five blocks, two of which are now open to the public; and also adjoining parks. The blocks have individual names also, like Ruhuna National Park for the block 1 and Kumana National Park or...

  • Kullaberg
    Kullaberg is a nature reserve situated on a peninsula of land protruding into the Kattegat in Höganäs Municipality near the town of Mölle in southwest Sweden. The site in the province of Skåne is an area of considerable biodiversity supporting a number of rare species and has been designated as an...

  • Akyatan Lagoon
    Akyatan Lagoon
    Akyatan lagoon is a 14700-hectare wetland ecosystem that is designated as Wetland of International Importance by Ramsar Convention. A major stop over for migrating birds, Akyatan is recognized as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International...

    , Çukurova
  • Çiğli
    Çiğli is a metropolitan district of the city of İzmir in İzmir Province, Turkey. Its area covers the northern end of the boundaries of İzmir Metropolitan Municipality. Çiğli district area neighbors that of Karşıyaka, another metropolitan district, to the south and the west, and that of İzmir's...

United Kingdom
  • Cemlyn Bay
    Cemlyn Bay and lagoon
    Cemlyn Bay is a bay on the northwest coast of Anglesey, North Wales, approximately 2.5 km west of Wylfa nuclear power station, within the parish of Llanfairynghornwy....

    , Wales
  • Farne Islands
    Farne Islands
    The Farne Islands are a group of islands off the coast of Northumberland, England. There are between 15 and 20 or more islands depending on the state of the tide. They are scattered about 2.5–7.5 km distant from the mainland, divided into two groups, the Inner Group and the Outer Group...

    , England
  • Fowlsheugh
    Fowlsheugh is a coastal nature reserve in Kincardineshire, northeast Scotland, known for its seventy metre high cliff formations and habitat supporting prolific seabird nesting colonies. Designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest by Scottish Natural Heritage, the property is owned by the...

    , Scotland
  • The Skerries
    The Skerries, Anglesey
    The Skerries are a group of sparsely-vegetated rocky islets, with a total area of about , lying 3 km offshore from Carmel Head at the northwest corner of Anglesey, Wales...

    , Wales
  • Ynys Feurig
    Ynys Feurig
    Ynys Feurig is the name for a set of three small inter-connected low-lying inshore tidal rocky islets , lying off from the west coast of Anglesey, North Wales, just north of the village of Rhosneigr and south of RAF Valley airfield. They are also known by the English name Starvation Island...

    , Wales
  • Ythan Estuary
    Ythan Estuary
    The Ythan Estuary is the tidal component of the Ythan River, emptying into the North Sea approximately north of Aberdeen, Scotland. The estuary’s tidal action extends a full inland and has characteristic widths of between and . Besides the tidal channel there are several types of interfaces to...

    , Scotland

United States
  • Congaree National Park
    Congaree National Park
    Congaree National Park preserves the largest tract of old growth bottomland hardwood forest left in the United States. Located in South Carolina, the 26,546-acre national park received that designation in 2003 as the culmination of a grassroots campaign which had started in 1969...

    , South Carolina
  • High Island
    High Island
    High Island may refer to:*High Island, Texas, USA, a community*High Island , USA*High Island , USA*High Island, Hong Kong , Sai Kung District, New Territories*High Island , Australia...

    , Texas
  • Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve
    Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve
    Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve in Hillsboro, Oregon, United States, is a wetlands area along the Tualatin River in Washington County, Oregon...

    , Oregon
  • Michigan
    Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....

     (over 500 sites are under consideration).
  • Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge
    Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge
    The Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1961 to preserve habitat for migrating birds. Staff at the refuge also manage Cedar Point and West Sister Island refuges...

    , Ohio
  • Presque Isle State Park
    Presque Isle State Park
    Presque Isle State Park is a Pennsylvania state park on an arching sandy peninsula that juts into Lake Erie, west of the city of Erie, in Millcreek Township, Erie County, Pennsylvania, in the United States. The peninsula sweeps northeastward, surrounding Presque Isle Bay along the park's...

    , Erie, Pennsylvania
  • Richardson Bay
    Richardson Bay
    Richardson Bay is a shallow, ecologically rich arm of San Francisco Bay, managed under a Joint Powers Agency of four Northern California cities. The Richardson Bay Sanctuary was acquired in the early 1960s by the National Audubon Society. The bay was named for William A...

    , California
  • Tawas Point State Park
    Tawas Point State Park
    Tawas Point State Park is a Michigan state park located in Northern Michigan near the city of East Tawas. It is just over an hour drive from the Saginaw and Bay City area and a little over three hours from the Detroit area. The park contains situated on the end of a sand spit that forms Tawas Bay...

    , Lower Peninsula of Michigan
  • Tussey Mountain
    Tussey Mountain
    ]Tussey Mountain is a stratigraphic ridge in central Pennsylvania, United States, trending east of the Bald Eagle, Brush, Dunning and Evitts Mountain ridges...

    , Pennsylvania
  • West Sister Island
    West Sister Island
    West Sister Island is an island of the U.S. state of Ohio located in Lake Erie. The island is in the Western Basin of Lake Erie and is jointly owned by the United States Coast Guard and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and managed and designated as a wilderness area. The only such area in Ohio...

    , Ohio
  • Whitefish Point Bird Observatory
    Whitefish Point Bird Observatory
    The Whitefish Point Bird Observatory is located in Chippewa County, Michigan, USA, adjacent to the Whitefish Point Unit of the Seney National Wildlife Refuge. It operates as a non-profit, affiliate education and research facility of the Michigan Audubon Society. The Society and the WPBO together...

    , Upper Peninsula of Michigan

See also

  • Avicide
    An avicide is any substance which can be used to kill birds.Commonly used avicides include strychnine, DRC-1339 and CPTH , and Avitrol . Chloralose is also used as an avicide...

  • List of Important Bird Areas in the United Kingdom
  • List of birds of Sri Lanka
  • Department of Wildlife Conservation (Sri Lanka)
    Department of Wildlife Conservation (Sri Lanka)
    The Department of Wildlife Conservation is a non-ministerial government department in Sri Lanka. It is the government department responsible for maintaining national parks, nature reserves and wildlife in wilderness areas in Sir Lanka. Forest reserves and wilderness areas are maintained by the...

External links

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