Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas
The Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA) Programme is one of
BirdLife South Africa's most important conservation programmes. It
speaks to all four focal areas of BirdLife South Africa – species,
sites, habitats and people.
After a rebirth at the end of 2009, the IBA Programme has grown from
strength to strength. In 2012 the programme will grow to eight staff
members, including a national coordinator, four regional conservation
managers, an IBA data manager, and two education and community
development staff. The IBA Steering Committee continues to offer
valuable guidance and decision-making support to Daniel Marnewick, the national coordinator, and the rest of the team.
We are confident that soon the IBA Programme will once again be at the forefront of conservation in South Africa, becoming the guardian of our birds' most important habitats.
What are IBAs?
The Important Bird and Biodiversity
Areas (IBA) Programme is one of BirdLife International's most important conservation initiatives. The IBA Programme identifies and works to conserve a network of sites critical for the long-term survival of bird species that:
are globally threatened
have a restricted range
are restricted to specific biomes/vegetation types
A fourth category is sites that have significant populations; for example, 20 000 waterbirds or 10 000 pairs of a species of seabird. South Africa has 101 Global IBAs and an additional 21 Regional IBAs. South Africa is a large country, supporting eight biomes and c. 841 bird species, of which more than 700 are resident or annual visitors, 74 of which are endemic or near-endemic and 125 of which are listed in The Eskom Red Data Book of Birds of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland.