Maine’s Important Bird Area (IBA) program is part of a global effort to identify areas that are most critical for long-term bird conservation. IBAs must meet a set of criteria developed by a Technical Committee of bird experts. The criteria are focused primarily on large concentrations of birds, species of conservation concern, and species diversity. Maine has so far identified 22 IBAs, primarily along the coast and around wetlands (pdf).
- Generally supports birds of conservation concern (including threatened
and endangered species)
- Large concentrations of birds
- Birds associated with unique or exceptional habitat
- High historic research value for bird conservation
- May be either protected or unprotected
- May be publicly or privately held
- IBA Size
- IBAs may be of any size, but are usually discrete and distinguishable in character, habitat, or ornithological importance from surrounding areas.
- Where possible, IBAs should be large enough to supply all or most of the needs of birds during the season in which the site is important.
- Area boundaries may be either natural (e.g., rivers, ridges, islands, watersheds) or human-made (e.g., roads, property boundaries).