Thursday, February 17, 2011

Conservation key sites

Although Important Bird Areas (IBAs) are identified using scientific criteria based on on the distribution of key bird species, they have also been shown to be important for plants and animals. They provide a "first cut" of the overall network of the most significant sites for biodiversity conservation around the world and are recognised as practical tools that enable us to concentrate efforts where there will be more effective. Birdlife International, a global partnership of of autonomous non-governmental conservation organisations active in over 100 countries has published a map showing the location and protection status of more than 10 000 of the most important sites for birds and biodiversity on the planet. This map also exposes gaps in the network of protected areas; although progress has recently been made in the declaration of the new IBAs, only 26% of the total number currently enjoys full legal protection. The full article is available in the latest Africa Birds and Birding in the ORI Library.

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