Audubon Maryland-DC has launched “IBA Champions,” an initiative that empowers people who love birds to help protect Maryland’s birds in the places birds need the most – Important Bird Areas. Important Bird Areas (IBAs) represent the best habitats across the state for bird species at risk as well as those vulnerable to a range of threats. Birds are currently facing a daunting array of threats to these areas from fracking and oil drilling to sprawling development proposals.
With this in mind, Audubon Maryland-DC has embarked on the ambitious program to mobilize and train birders and others with an interest in bird conservation to act on behalf of birds and their habitats.
So now YOU can help protect birds where they need it most – start by signing the PLEDGE!
|Become an IBA Champion for Bird Conservation in Maryland & DC!|
Monitoring, Advocacy and Stewardship
IBA Champions can get involved in any of three types of activity: Monitoring, Advocacy, and Stewardship. Each of these is vital to bird conservation. When threats arise IBA Advocates will advance policies that protect birds and challenge planning and development schemes that threaten the ecological integrity of IBAs. Bird data collected by IBA Monitors will inform habitat management on public lands as well as arm IBA advocates with the ammunition they need to make a compelling case for land protection against inappropriate development. IBA Stewards can engage in a range of actions to help birds and their habitats, from invasive species control to resolving human-bird conflicts. Audubon will provide training for monitoring, advocacy and stewardship activities.
Key to the success of the IBA Champions initiative will be working in partnerships as other environmental groups work toward similar goals. Many such partnerships are already in place and IBA Champions can add a unique contribution to existing efforts – a robust and authoritative voice for birds.
IBA Success Stories
Bird data from IBAs has been used in partnership with the Smarter Growth Alliance for Charles County to successfully stop construction of the Cross County Connector through Mattawoman Creek IBA and, with partners in the Wicomico Environmental Trust, to help defeat a mammoth residential subdivision in Pocomoke-Nassawango IBA, home to prothonotary warbler, Kentucky warbler and wood thrush. To reject the forest-paving runway extension at Tipton Airport that could decimate bird habitat at the Patuxent Research Refuge IBA, Audubon Maryland-DC recently joined forces with the Maryland Ornithological Society and others.
Maryland’s 43 IBAs are as diverse as the state itself, ranging from the shorebird-rich barrier island beaches of Assateague Island IBA to the forested mountains of Green Ridge IBA, home to the rapidly declining Cerulean Warbler.
But birds can’t defend themselves. They need champions like you to ensure they have a viable future--and in many cases any future at all. We welcome you to become a Audubon Maryland-DC IBA Champion to help protect the avian gems that have made our lives richer.
For more information about IBA Champions, please contact:
David Curson, PhD
Director of Bird Conservation
(410) 558 - 2473
IBA Champions Coordinator
(443) 523 - 2201
IBA Champions Coordinator
(443) 614 - 0261