If you care about birds and have never heard about Important Bird Areas (IBAs), or Áreas de Importancia para la Conservación de las Aves (AICAs) as they are known in Mexico, you may be reassured knowing there are sites throughout the Western Hemisphere which have been identified as having important habitat for the conservation of both resident and migratory bird species.  IBAs are identified based on criteria which include the conservation status of the birds found there, how restricted their range is, congregations of species, etc.  The IBA program was launched by BirdLife International (https://www.birdlife.org/) in 1997, working with partner organizations in 200 countries, and today there are over 12,000 IBAs which have been identified worldwide.  However, IBAs are only dots on a map unless protected, and less than half of these IBAs have some kind of protection.  Partner organizations work hard to involve communities in bird monitoring, education, and advocacy for these areas, but it takes individuals to speak up about the importance of IBAs/AICAs to ensure they become formally protected where possible.  Learn more about IBAs/AICAs, and how you can help.


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