Audubon's Important Bird Areas Program
Audubon's Important Bird Areas Program Habitat loss and fragmentation are the most serious threats facing bird populations across America and around the world. BirdLife International, a global coalition of more than 100 conservation organizations, initiated the Important Bird Areas (IBA) Program in Europe in the 1980's to combat these pressures. This key conservation effort has grown into an international endeavor; to date, IBAs have been identified in 156 countries around the globe. As the United States Partner of BirdLife International, Audubon has been administering the program since 1995 via statewide initiatives.
What is an Important Bird Area?
Important Bird Areas, or IBAs, are sites that provide essential habitat for one or more bird species. IBAs include sites for breeding, wintering, and/or migrating birds. IBAs may be a few acres, but they are usually sites or landscapes that stand out from their surroundings.
To qualify as an Important Bird Area, sites must satisfy at least one of the following criteria. The area must support:
- Species of conservation concern (e.g., Cerulean Warbler, Henslow's Sparrow, etc.)
- Species that are vulnerable because their populations are concentrated in one general habitat or biome type (e.g., Wood Thrush, Dickcissel, etc.); also termed "responsibility species"
- An outstanding example of a representative or rare habitat type
- Species, or groups of similar species, that are vulnerable because they occur at high densities due to their congregatory behavior
The identification of IBAs in Indiana is an important first step in this bird conservation initiative. A comprehensive list of Indiana species and criteria for site selection are listed here. Species IBA inventories provide a scientifically defensible method for prioritizing conservation action and allocating limited conservation dollars to ensure maximum benefit to birds. The Indiana IBA Program is now beginning the formal process of nominating and identifying Important Bird Areas. Below is just a small sample of sites which may be recognized as Important Bird Areas.
The Marian College EcoLab — An IBA Test Site
The Marian College EcoLab (a 50-acre wetland restoration located on campus near downtown Indianapolis) has been designated as a test site for the Indiana IBA Program.
The Indiana IBA coordinator, in conjunction with the Amos W. Butler Audubon Society, Marian College, and the Cold Springs Elementary School staff, designs and implements on-site educational and habitat restoration programs. Such outreach events include bird hikes and surveys, owl prowls, restoration work days, and bird identification and natural history workshops. These programs facilitate local engagement of volunteers and docent naturalists in the IBA program.
A list of upcoming events at the EcoLab can be found at http://wetland.marian.edu.
Existing Indiana IBAs
|Site Name (does not connote boundaries)||Principle County||Criteria|
|1.||Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore||Porter||Species of concern; habitat; congregations|
|2.||Kankakee Sands/Willow Slough||Newton||Species of concern; habitat; congregations|
|3.||Jasper–Pulaski FWA||Jasper||Congregations of species|
|4.||Pigeon River FWA||Lagrange||Species of concern; congregations|
|5.||Pine Creek Gamebird Habitat Area||Benton||Biome-restricted species; congregations|
|6.||Shades State Park/Pine Hills||Montgomery||Species of concern; responsibility species|
|7.||Scott Starling Sanctuary||Marion||Responsibility species; habitat|
|8.||Summit Lake State Park||Henry||Responsibility species; congregations|
|9.||Chinook Mine||Vigo||Species of concern; responsibility species|
|10.||Minnehaha FWA/Goose Pond||Sullivan||Responsibility species; habitat|
|11.||Lake Monroe/associated marshes||Monroe||Species of concern; congregations|
|12.||Hoosier National Forest||Monroe||Responsibility species; habitat|
|13.||Muscatatuck NWR||Jackson||Species of concern; congregations|
|14.||Big Oaks NWR||Ripley||Species of concern; responsibility species|
|15.||Gibson Lake/Cinergy Power Plant||Gibson||Species of concern; congregations|
Events & Activities
Join Our Mailing List
Subscribe to our newsletter to find out the latest news and information from Amos Butler Audubon.
Support our chapter's educational programs, conservation projects, and research.
Lights Out Indy
To celebrate Amos Butler Audubon's 75th anniversary in 2013, we will be introducing you to 75 species of birds during the course of the year on our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/amosbutler). Please share these accounts with family and friends and encourage[…]Read more...
Any birder worth their salt knows that birding is a continuous learning process. I've often said that it took me several years of birding before I realized I knew practically nothing about birds. Being impatient, I surely miss all sorts[…]Read more...
Snowy Owls cast a bewitching spell over most birders. Here in the Midwest, where the species can be considered rare, the news of a Snowy being sighted tends to draw flocks of birders to the location. And, that is the[…]Read more...
It's quite probable that "construction season" and Amos W. Butler Audubon have never been used in the same sentence. But, indeed, I am here to report that construction season has come to an end for Amos W. Butler Audubon. Construction,[…]Read more...
Several birders observed an immature Peregrine Falcon at Eagle Creek Park, Indianapolis, on October 1, 2011. By itself, the sighting was not very significant. Peregrines are regularly seen in migration cruising through the park, scattering other birds as they look[…]Read more...
You can help us save money, time, and even trees by receiving updates and news via email.