What is a Caretaker?

A Caretaker is a local volunteer who is matched to one (or more) Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs). Caretakers are community champions, acting as watchdogs to ensure that changes within IBAs, or threats to their ecological integrity, are properly documented – and, ideally, resolved.

Caretaker activities vary depending on site characteristics and their own interests, but can include: collecting bird data; conducting site assessments; restoring habitat; raising awareness; and advocacy efforts.

Assessing the status and trends of bird populations and IBAs, and documenting the value of conservation efforts, will become increasingly important as the program develops. Coordinated Caretaker activity will allow us to target particularly vulnerable sites for additional conservation action, and will help us ensure that Canada’s IBA habitats and birds are safeguarded.

Bird Studies Canada, Nature Canada, and regional partners affiliated with the IBA Program provide support, guidance, and training to our volunteers. Everyone has something to offer, and the program greatly benefits from the diversity of its contributors.

Join our network of IBA volunteers!


Photo: © Margaret Cuthbert

Common Terns
Photo: © iStock Photo
The IBA Program is an international conservation initiative coordinated by BirdLife International. The Canadian co-partners for the IBA Program are Birds Canada and Nature Canada.
   © Birds Canada