IBA Criteria

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) are identified using information about bird populations. Common and standard criteria are used by all BirdLife partners to identify these sites.

IBAs are home to threatened birds, large groups of birds, and birds restricted by range, or by habitat. When bird species occur at a site in sufficient numbers during one or more seasons (winter; migration; breeding), they become known as trigger species, and the site at which they are found is designated as an IBA.

Using common criteria enables us to compare population trends and status of sites at global, continental, and national levels. It also supports the case for stronger protection. Protecting IBAs is vital to the long-term conservation of the world’s birds, and helps to conserve globally diverse habitats.

Learn more about the current criteria used by the IBA Canada Program or the original criteria used in Canada during the first phase of IBA Identification (1996-2001).

Lesser Yellowlegs
Photo: © Shutterstock
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.
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