The IBA Program

The Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas Program took root in Canada in 1996 with a five-year effort that focused on site identification and designation. As part of this first phase, nearly 600 IBAs were designated across every province and territory using an internationally established, science-based approach

Subsequently, provincial nature federation groups were engaged to coordinate the development of conservation plans for selected IBAs and to lead local conservation activities.

The Government of Canada was a critical partner in these early years, providing generous financial support through its Millennium Fund program. Environment Canada provided strong in-kind support in a science advisory role and through the provision of migratory bird data.

The current focus of the program is to:

  • reinvigorate the IBA Program nationally and regionally

  • develop a national Caretaker Network to engage citizens in conservation actions at IBAs

  • develop monitoring protocols and systems to report on bird populations at IBAs

  • encourage decision makers to consider IBAs in planning and regulatory processes

Learn more about the IBA Agenda or download a printable brochure (6 MB PDF)

Please join us in making the IBA Program a resounding success!

Great Egret
Photo: © iStock Photo

Restoring and protecting - one beach at a time
Photo: © Margaret Cuthbert
The IBA Program is an international conservation initiative coordinated by BirdLife International. The Canadian co-partners for the IBA Program are Birds Canada and Nature Canada.
   © Birds Canada