IBA Programme

Important Bird Area (IBA) Programme

In l998, BNHS became the BirdLife international partner in India, soon we began a collaborative project with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), a BirdLife partner in the UK. The RSPB is the charity that takes action for wild birds and the environment. lt works with bird and habitat conservation organisations, to help the BirdLife international Partnership.

BirdLife Partners operate in over one hundred countries and territories worldwide, some with more than one Partner. Together the BirdLife Partnership forms the leading authority on the status of birds, their habitats and the issues and problems affecting birds.

The BNHS-BirdLife partnership is an outcome of a strategic planning workshop held in September l998, organised by the BNHS with participation of more them 20 NGOs and governmental organisation including WWF, Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Sálim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON), Department of Wildlife Science, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA) and RSPB.

The outcome of this workshop was an agreement to start an Important Bird Area programme (IBA) and to form a sustainable network, linking ornithologists, birdwatchers and organisations working for bird conservation in India. This resulted in the establishment of the Indian Bird Conservation Network (IBCN).

The IBA programme involves identification of important sites of global importance for birds and gathering more information on the least studied sites in order to promote action for their conservation.

What is an IBA?

  • IBAs are places of international significance for the conservation of birds at the global, regional or sub-regional level.
  • IBAs are practical tools for conservation.
  • IBAs are chosen using standardised, agreed criteria applied with common sense.
  • IBAs must, wherever possible, be large enough to support self-sustaining populations of those species for which they are important.
  • IBAs are places which can be defined and distinguished from surrounding areas, and which are feasible to conserve.
  • IBAs where possible preferentially include, where appropriate, existing Protected Areas
  • IBAs are not appropriate for all bird species and, for some, are only appropriate in parts of their ranges.
  • IBAs should form part of a wider, integrated approach to conservation that embraces sites, species and habitat protection


Aims of IBA programme

The IBA Programme aims to identify, document and advocate the protection and management of a network of sites that are important for the long-term viability of naturally occurring bird populations across the geographic range of those bird species for which a site-based approach is appropriate.

IBA inventory.

The following are the key areas where the IBA Inventory is useful:

  • Help identify high biodiversity areas.
  • Form a sound basis for the development of national conservation strategies, including protected areas programme.
  • Contribute to highlight sites which are threatened or inadequately protected.
  • Help build regional and national networks of ornithologists, conservationists and civil society.
  • Help identify future priorities for birds and biodiversity conservation action.
  • Provide decision makers with high quality biodiversity information for sustainable land and resource use.
  • Assist governments in the implementation of international agreements such as the Convention on Biological Diversity.
  • Provide material for education and training.
  • Influence regional migratory bird agreements.
  • Help the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP).