Photo: David Yeany
The Important Bird Areas Program in Maryland and DC is part of an international initiative, which was started in Europe in the 1980s by Birdlife International and has now spread worldwide with programs in over 150 countries. In the US, the National Audubon Society is Birdlife’s partner and has established IBA programs in 46 states.
The goals of the program are to identify the areas most essential for sustaining native bird populations, and then to focus conservation efforts on these places. Program goals are achieved through three areas of action:
Already across the US more than 1700 IBAs have been identified and many thousands of acres have been protected.
Iconic species of terns and skimmers depend on critical nesting habitat throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, including islands within the Maryland Coastal Bays near Ocean City and Assateague Island. Many of these island-nesting birds, however, are now experiencing a serious decline due to three main factors: erosion, disturbance, and predation – all of which are exacerbated by human activities.
Your support helps us advocate for bird habitat protection and bird-friendly legislation, implement restoration projects in the Chesapeake Bay’s marshes, and support bird-safe development of climate-friendly renewable energy.