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 like the islands within the Maryland Coastal Bays near Ocean City and Assateague Island. But many of these island-nesting birds are experiencing a serious decline due to erosion, disturbance, and predation.
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.
Located in the bays behind Ocean City, Tern Island is one of four critical island nesting refuges for some of Maryland's most endangered seabirds