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Location USA, Louisiana
Central coordinates 90o 26.40' West  29o 16.20' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i
Area 1,116,529 ha
Year of IBA assessment 2010


Summary The Barataria Terrebonne Important Bird Area (IBA) is close to three million acres of refuges, Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs), National Wildlife Refuges (NWRs), State Parks, and privately owned land. This site contains the only national park natural area in Louisiana, Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve. Nearby IBAs include East Delta Plain and Atchafalaya Basin. Within Barataria Terrebonne IBA is Grand Isle State Park, a very important migratory bird stopover which has seventeen acres of woods on the island preserved and owned by The Nature Conservancy. Located on the eastern coast of the state, this IBA contains over 350 species of birds and over 280 species of fish in a diversity of habitats, including salt marshes and swamps, brackish and freshwater environments, beaches, and a variety of forests. This site is particularly important to shorebirds and a number of migratory birds, including the Piping Plover, considered vulnerable in both Canada and the United States. Other birds include herons, ibis, egrets, pelicans, gulls, terns, skimmers, ducks, and raptors. The IBA offers a number of recreational activities such as fishing to the public. Unfortunately, because of its location, the Barataria Terrebonne Important Bird Area is subject to significant coastal erosion, with the highest erosion rates in the state.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
White Ibis Eudocimus albus resident  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Little Blue Heron Egretta caerulea resident  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Brown Pelican Pelecanus occidentalis resident  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Wilson's Plover Charadrius wilsonia breeding  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Piping Plover Charadrius melodus winter  present  A1  Near Threatened 
Short-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus griseus winter  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Forster's Tern Sterna forsteri resident  present  A4i  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2014 very high not assessed medium

Climate change and severe weather storms and floods happening now whole area/population (>90%) moderate to rapid deterioration very high
Energy production and mining oil and gas drilling happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Human intrusions and disturbance recreational activities happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Natural system modifications dams & water management/use - dams (size unknown) happening now whole area/population (>90%) very rapid to severe deterioration very high

Some of site covered (10-49%)  A comprehensive and appropriate management plan exists that aims to maintain or improve the populations of qualifying bird species  The conservation measures needed for the site are being comprehensively and effectively implemented  medium 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Rocky areas Rocky flats & barrens  1%
Introduced vegetation   1%
Wetlands (inland) Freshwater lakes & pools; Freshwater marshes & swamps; Water-fringe vegetation  98%

Land ownership Though the majority of the IBA is privately owned, 90,000 acres are owned and managed by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF). The Wildlife Management Areas functioning under the department are Salvador, Timken, Wisner, Pointe-Aux-Chenes, and Lake Boeuf. Grand Isle State Park and Bayou Segnette State Park are owned by Louisiana State Parks. Mandalay National Wildlife Refuge, on the other hand, is federally managed. Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve is owned by the U.S. Department of the Interior and run by the National Park Service.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Barataria Terrebonne. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife