History of the IBA Program

Mar. 2012 The winter edition of BirdWatch Canada, the national magazine of Bird Studies Canada, features an informative article on the state of the IBA Program in Canada.  The article provides a glimpse of the important work that is occurring across the country, led by regional and national partners, and IBA Caretakers. 
Nov. 2010 Nature Canada is urging Gilead Power Corporation and the Ontario Government not to build a wind turbine farm on Ostrander Point Crown Land; in the heart of the globally significant Prince Edward Point Important Bird and Biodiversity Area. This IBA overlaps Ostrander Point, Prince Edward Point National Wildlife Area, and Timber Island Provincial Nature Reserve. It contains some of the best bird habitat in southern Ontario. Read more.
2009-2014 TransCanada Corporation has committed $1 million for five years as a national supporter of the Canadian Important Bird Areas Caretaker Network, a nationwide initiative to establish a volunteer network of Caretakers who will watch over and protect IBAs in their communities. Read the full news release.
Sept. 2009 BC Nature publishes a fourth IBA newsletter
May 2009 Bird Studies Canada and Nature Canada organize an IBA Caretaker workshop that brings together the national partners, representatives from the five provinces currently signed on for Caretaker Networks (BC, AB, SK, QC, NS), and a guest from the BirdLife partner in Denmark who shares his experiences and expertise with the meeting participants.
May 2009 An IBA Technical Coordinator has been hired to work closely with the national and regional IBA Program partners and BirdLife International to ensure that the program runs smoothly in Canada. The Coordinator, who is based at Bird Studies Canada’s headquarters, is responsible for updating criteria, data management systems, and site summaries; providing guidance to IBA Caretakers; and working with the program’s scientific and technical committees.
May 2009 The Government of Nova Scotia has designated the two islands of Nova Scotia’s Bird Islands IBA as a provincial Wildlife Management Area. These islands support the largest colony of Great Cormorants in North America, and the largest concentration of Black-legged Kittiwakes, Razorbills, and Atlantic Puffins within Nova Scotia. We applaud the decision to recognize and legally protect this IBA.
2008-2009 The U.S. Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act (NMBCA) grant program has committed $82,000 to establish, build, test, and refine web-based data management, analysis, mapping, reporting, and communications tools that are required to support the Caretaker Network in BC and to support the future development of Caretaker initiatives elsewhere in Canada.
Aug. 2008 We congratulate the Government of Canada for designating three new National Wildlife Areas (NWAs) in Nunavut, protecting nearly half a million hectares of wilderness including the globally significant IBAs at Cape Searle and Reid Bay. These protected areas will preserve essential breeding habitat for seabirds including Canada’s largest Northern Fulmar colony. These NWAs will also protect habitat for Arctic marine animals like the endangered bowhead whale, walrus, and harp seal.
2006 BC Nature establishes an IBA Caretaker Network to be the “eyes, ears, and hands” on the ground at each of British Columbia’s 84 IBAs. Support and outstanding cooperation are provided by BC Nature members and other partners. The goal of recruiting Caretakers for 50% of BC’s IBAs for 2007 was surpassed, and by 2008, 90% of BC’s IBAs were paired with Caretakers. Learn more about IBAs in BC.
1999 Nature Canada begins working with site-support groups through an initiative called Important Bird Areas Communities in Action to implement critical conservation-related activities at high-priority sites across the country.
1999 The first national IBA directory for Canada is published on the web. Bird Studies Canada leads scientific and technical coordination, including directing the process to determine which sites merited inclusion as Canadian IBAs; maintaining the IBA database and IBA Canada website; designing and implementing monitoring systems; and data reporting and analysis.
1996-2001 The initial five-year effort focuses on site identification and designation in Canada. As part of this first phase, nearly 600 IBAs are designated using an internationally established, science-based approach.  In the first phase of the program, Bird Studies Canada takes the lead on IBA designation and data collection. Nature Canada focuses its efforts on site stewardship and protection, advocacy, and communication.
1996 The Canadian IBA program is launched by the Canadian BirdLife International partners – Bird Studies Canada and the Canadian Nature Federation (now Nature Canada).
1989 A directory to IBAs in Europe is published.
1985 The first IBA program is initiated by BirdLife International in Europe, after the European Economic Community asked BirdLife to produce a priority list of sites for protection in Europe.
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.
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