Worldwide, more than 10,000 Important Bird Areas (IBA) have been identified. The United States has designated more than 2,100 IBAs. There are thousands more in Canada, Mexico, and throughout Central and South America.
An Important Bird Area is a site, terrestrial or aquatic, that provides essential habitat for one or more species of birds during breeding, wintering, and/or migration.
With the assistance of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Audubon launched its Important Bird Areas program in Washington in 1998. In 2001, we published “Important Bird Areas of Washington”, describing the first 53 IBAs in our state (regional links below). As with all IBA programs, Washington’s IBAs were selected based on standard biological criteria and expert ornithologists’ review.
- Region 1 - Pacific Coast
- Region 2 - Western Lowlands
- Region 3 - Cascade Mountains
- Region 4 - Columbia Basin
Audubon Washington conducted several additional rounds of IBA identification since the publication of Important Bird Areas of Washington, resulting in a total of 75 IBAs. IBA stewardship and bird monitoring is an important part of many chapter conservation efforts across Washington. Learn more about IBA stewardship here.
Landowners and managers, planners, and the public can learn more about the IBA program by searching Audubon Washington's IBA database for specific information about individual sites.