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Conservation & Education > Conservation Projects > Important Bird Areas

Important Bird Areas Program

The Important Bird Areas (IBA) program is a worldwide bird conservation program that is designed to identify, monitor, and protect the areas that are most important to birds at the population level. BirdLife International initiated the program in Europe in the 1980s. since then, over 156 countries have adopted the program. The National Audubon Society has overseen the plan in the US since 1995. The IBA program is conducted on a state-by-state basis. In Missouri 47 IBA sites were officially identified in 2004. The data from nominations used to evaluate and identify IBA sites has been used extensively by the Missouri Department of Conservation and other conservation partners during the Comprehensive Wildlife Strategy process. The Comprehensive Wildlife Strategy Plan is the means for procuring federal funding for state conservation.

Greater Ozarks Audubon nominated 11 IBA sites that are part of the 47 IBAs in Missouri. GOAS sponsors or is developing projects and activities focused in the White River Glades and Woodlands IBA at Drury-Mincy Conservation Area, at Shell Knob Glades and Woodlands IBA, at a suite of Prairies, which includes Wah'Kon-Ta Prairie, at Henning Conservation Area, and Schell-Osage Conservation Area. Committee members put in many of hours to complete the nominations packets resulting in the identification of these IBA sites. Thanks to Jerry and Margie Williams, Jackie West, Myra Scroggs, Sue Schuble, Mary Murphy, Jan Horton, Janice Greene, Ruth Grant, Alice Counts, and Charley Burwick for helping to delineate the most important areas for bird populations at the state level.

There are lots of opportunities to become active with GOAS through the local IBA committee. Learn more: Contact GOAS 417-860-9108.

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