The Important Bird Area (IBA) Program is an international effort to identify areas that provide critical habitat to birds at some stage of their annual cycle, be it breeding, migration, or winter.
The program began in Europe in 1981 and soon spread to Africa and Asia, with the United States initiating its program in 1996. Today, IBA programs are in place in over 100 countries and most states, including New Hampshire. Birdlife International (www.birdlife.net) is the parent organization of the IBA Program, and serves to oversee international coordination. In the United States the IBA Program is coordinated by the National Audubon Society (www.audubon.org).
The NH IBA Program began in 2001 with the development of IBA criteria by the state Partner’s in Flight working group. Since that time, 17 IBAs have been identified across the state, from northern conifer forests to major river valleys to coastal islands and salt marshes. These areas represent some of the best habitats used by NH’s breeding, migrating, and wintering birds, and are intended to serve as foci for future conservation and education efforts.
See more information about the New Hampshire IBA program, including criteria, data needs, and a list of sites.
Project Leader: Pam Hunt
Photos, from the top: Beginning birding class outing by Dyanna Smith, Common Terns (staff photo).
The New Hampshire Audubon offers multiple opportunities for those interested in joining us as a member or donating for one of our various causes.
Founded in 1914, NH Audubon’s mission is to protect New Hampshire’s natural environment for wildlife and for people. It is an independent statewide membership organization with four nature centers throughout the state. Expert educators give programs to children, families, and adults at centers and in schools. Staff biologists and volunteers conduct bird conservation efforts such as the Peregrine Falcon restoration. NH Audubon protects thousands of acres of wildlife habitat and is a voice for sound public policy on environmental issues. For information on NH Audubon, including membership, volunteering, programs, sanctuaries, and publications, call 224-9909, or visit www.nhaudubon.org.