Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas
What is an IBA?
The Important Bird and Biodiversity Area program is an international non-government conservation initiative of BirdLife International, a partnership of over 100 countries seeking to identify and conserve sites important to all bird species worldwide. By encouraging protection of birds and habitats, it also promotes conservation of the world's biodiversity.
There are currently IBA programs in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and the Americas. The Americas IBA program includes Canada, the United States, Mexico, and 17 countries in Central and South America.
The Canadian BirdLife co-partners are Nature Canada and Bird Studies Canada (BSC). BSC is primarily responsible for site identification and designation under the IBA protocols. Nature Canada facilitates conservation planning and implementation, working with its provincial partners to create a national Caretakers Network.
Nature Saskatchewan is the coordinator of the conservation planning component as well as the Caretakers Network of this program in Saskatchewan.
IBA's in Saskatchewan
To date, 53 sites have been designated as IBAs in Saskatchewan.
In 2009, Nature Saskatchewan began coordinating a province-wide Caretaker Network, working with birders and naturalists from across Saskatchewan. Volunteers work as stewards of Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas near their community. They watch for changes in habitat, conservation threats and monitor bird populations. In addition to this monitoring, volunteers can conduct outreach to raise awareness about their site. Caretakers are essentially the eyes, ears and hands on the ground for the 53 IBAs in Saskatchewan. For information and resources please visit the IBA Canada website.
IBA sites with written Conservation Plans
The following IBA sites have written Conservation Plans, done between 1999 - 2002:
1. Redberry Lake (1999) - threatened, congregatory
2-4. Chaplin/ Old Wives/ Reed lakes (2000) - threatened, congregatory
5. Galloway & Miry Bay (2000) - congregatory
6. Govenlock/ Nashlyn/ Battle Creek (2000) - threatened, biome
7. Radisson Lake (2000) - threatened, congregatory
8. Manitou Lake (2000) - threatened, congregatory
9. Sandoff Lake (2000) – threatened
10. Colgate Prairie (2001) - threatened
11. Cumberland Marshes (2001) - biome, congregatory
12. Luck Lake (2002) - congregatory
13. Quill Lakes (2002) - threatened, congregatory
The IBA Canada website contains an interactive map and a searchable database of all Canadian IBAs. Note that some site summaries in the database are outdated and are undergoing revision.
Bird Studies Canada - a key partner in the Canadian IBA Program - seeks to advance the understanding, appreciation, and conservation of wild birds and their habitats through studies that engage the skills, enthusiasm, and support of its members, volunteers, and the interested public.
Nature Canada - a key partner in the Canadian IBA Program - seeks to protect key sites for breeding and non-breeding birds by empowering Canadians to become stewards and making a difference for our country's birds, and by sharing information on land use, political or economic issues.