The Lahontan Audubon Society initiated the Nevada Important Bird Area Program (NV IBA Program) in 2001. The motivating factor for the newly initiated program was to improve the coordination of bird conservation in areas that were important to migratory, breeding, and wintering birds. The NV IBA Program is focused on working with various partners, from federal and state agencies to local governments to landowners to other conservation organizations throughout Nevada to protect these areas that have been identified as important for birds.
The NV IBA Program has identified 42 Important Bird Areas. Important Bird Areas are landscapes that have been delineated and recognized as possessing significant and vital habitat resources that are important for a species or a suite of species of birds during part or all of their life cycle.
For a list of the Nevada Important Bird Areas, associated conservation action plans, maps, and detailed descriptions, please visit the Nevada Important Bird Areas webpage on the National Audubon Society’s website.
For more information on the National IBA Program (click here).
History of the Important Bird Areas Program
While operating independently within Nevada, the NV IBA Program is contributing to an international IBA effort initiated in 1985 by BirdLife International. Beginning in 1995, the National Audubon Society (NAS) joined the international IBA Program and is the designated partner in the United States. Under the auspices of NAS, each state has developed individual IBA Programs which are in various developmental stages. In 2001, the Lahontan Audubon Society coordinated with the National Audubon Society Important Bird Area Program to bring the IBA Program to the local level.
To date, more than 2600 IBAs have been recognized in the United States, encompassing more than 368 million acres of federal, state, local governments, and private lands. Worldwide, over 11,000 IBA sites have been identified in over 200 countries or territories. Hundreds of these sites and millions of acres have received better protection and conservation-oriented activities as a result of the IBA Program.
Nevada’s IBA Nomination Process
The Nevada IBA Nomination Process is based on a four-step process involving the identification, recognition, monitoring, and stewardship of areas offering habitat that is vital to migrating, breeding, and wintering birds. The process of IBA site selection is based on rigorous scientific criteria tailored to the unique landscapes in Nevada.
The Five criteria used in the IBA recognition process
Through collaboration with various entities and avian experts throughout Nevada, the NV IBA Program formed a Nevada Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) responsible for evaluating IBA site nominations utilizing the above criteria and ensuring that at least one of the criteria has been met. When a site is approved by the TAC, the site becomes a Regionally Important Bird Area. Criteria distinguishing Globally and Continentally Important Bird Areas have also been established for the National Technical Advisory Committee which works under the National Audubon Society. Every recognized IBA will be evaluated by the National Technical Advisory Committee for the higher level recognitions.
To date there have been two rounds of IBA nominations since 2001 with 42 sites formally recognized as Nevada Important Bird Areas.
Nevada IBA Program Strategy
The mission of the Nevada Important Bird Areas Program is to identify, through a science-based approach, areas of habitat critical to the survival of birds, to facilitate conservation and restoration of those areas, and to educate everyone about the value of habitat conservation.
Core Program Values
Nevada IBA Program Activities
Since 2001, the Nevada IBA Program has been extremely active developing and implementing the program.
Nevada Important Bird Areas Book
In 2005, the Nevada IBA Program published Important Bird Areas of Nevada which serves as a guide to the IBAs, bird values, and other relevant information. The publication of the book occurred before the recognition of some of the IBAs; however, the book is a great reference tool for the interested reader.
Habitat conservation is one of the most important focal areas of the Nevada IBA Program. Wildlife and habitat conservation involves all aspects of project development and implementation. Typically, a habitat threats and/or issues assessment is conducted as part of the process for identifying projects and stakeholders. Technical assistance to stakeholders and partners is routinely provided for wildlife and habitat conservation efforts within the IBAs. Since 2007, the NV IBA Program has undertaken a diversity of conservation, restoration, and enhancement projects with partners. Below is a small sampling of projects led by the NV IBA Program:
Public Outreach & Education
Education through public outreach, marketing, and publications is vital to the long-term success of conservationism within the IBAs. By providing educational outreach, local communities will become engage and increase their local stewardship attitudes towards bird habitat conservation.
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