Canadian BirdLife Partners launch new IBA caretaker video
Just in time for these celebrations, BirdLife International’s Canadian co-Partners, Bird Studies Canada and Nature Canada are pleased to share a new video that showcases Canada’s Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas Programme.
The brief, 90-second video, which highlights some of Canada’s cherished bird species and the special places they call home, can be watched below and is also available on the IBA Canada YouTube Channel in both English and French. The piece also features the dedicated volunteers who are working to help safeguard Canada’s Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs). These “IBA Caretakers” monitor birds and ecosystems, perform stewardship activities, and lead outreach efforts in their communities. IBA Caretakers have essential local knowledge, and are invaluable in alerting provincial and national partners about emerging conservation issues.
The IBA Programme is a global BirdLife initiative to identify, monitor, and conserve the world’s most critical sites for birds and biodiversity. There are nearly 600 IBAs in Canada. Bird Studies Canada and Nature Canada jointly manage the country’s national IBA Programme, in collaboration with regional partners across the country and with the support of hundreds of volunteers nationwide.
IBA sites are designated using scientific criteria. Having access to accurate, up-to-date information for each site is crucial. Site summaries are stored in a state-of-the-art national IBA database and can be accessed through the IBA Canada website.
“Advancing the understanding, appreciation, and conservation of wild birds and their habitats is the core of Bird Studies Canada’s mission – and also represents a perfect fit with the IBA Program,” said George Finney, President of Bird Studies Canada. “This program provides vital information that informs management decisions and conservation actions, and also helps governments, the private sector, and funders to direct conservation dollars to the highest-priority areas.”
IBAs are not afforded formal legal protection in Canada. Almost 70% of Canada’s IBAs have little or no overlap with officially designated protected areas, leaving them vulnerable to development and other disturbances. “Nature Canada is going to keep pushing hard to have all levels of government recognise these critically important sites”, said Stephen Hazell, Interim Executive Director of Nature Canada. “This video will help us strengthen the IBA Program and increase support by attracting even more volunteer caretakers, and by attracting new national sponsors.”
There are many ways to get involved! To support Canada’s Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas Programme, join the network of Canadian IBA volunteers, participate in a Citizen Science monitoring program at an IBA, or connect with IBA Canada on Facebook.