Healthy Oceans. Healthy Communities.

Important Bird Areas

The Important Bird Areas (IBA) Program is an international conservation initiative coordinated by BirdLife International. Across B.C. (and Canada), a network of essential habitat sites have been identified for significant bird populations that face threats, or are restricted in terms of range or habitat. Although IBAs vary in size and habitat type, they must fulfil internationally established science-based conservation criteria1.

Currently, the IBA Program is developing a national “caretaker” network for engaged citizens to participate in conservation activities. Monitoring protocols are being developed for volunteers to effectively report on bird populations at the sites. IBAs are a relatively new concept in Canada and are not legally protected in their own right (although some overlap with protected sites)1.

If a bird’s wing is oiled, it becomes matted and loses its waterproofing, insulating and buoyancy properties. The bird will die from exposure or drowning. As the bird attempts to get the oil off its feathers by preening, it ingests the oil, which can cause severe damage to the bird’s internal organs2. Even the inhalation of oil vapours can cause damage to an animal’s central nervous system, liver and lungs3.

Data Source:
The boundaries of the Important Bird Areas were received from Nature Canada (Sept 24, 2013). The boundaries of a few coastal sites were simplified to facilitate display in Google Earth but the area covered by each IBA was not altered. Important Bird Areas are found coast wide but only those within the map study area on the North and Central Coast of British Columbia are displayed here.