Audubon's Important Bird Areas (IBA) Program is a global effort to identify and protect habitat that will protect sustainable populations of birds. The IBA Program is built around an adaptable, science-based blueprint that allows Audubon and other conservation partners to make sound conservation decisions in the face of considerable uncertainty from the changing climate, the economy, and gaps in our knowledge of the abundance and distribution of our highest priority species.
Connecticut's IBA Program strives to complement the conservation programs of our state, federal, and nonprofit partners. By connecting people with nature, working with land stewards to develop conservation strategies, and supporting the implementation of these plans at a local level, the IBA Program fills an important niche in statewide conservation efforts by working to protect areas that aren't easily protected under other conservation programs.
The IBA program is overseen by BirdLife International, with Audubon as the partner designate in the United States, and has become a key component of many bird conservation efforts, including, Partners in Flight, North American Waterbird Conservation Plan, and the U.S. Shorebird Conservation Plan.
For more information or questions, contact Corrie Folsom-O’Keefe, Bird Conservation Programs Manager, by email.
Landscape-level Important Bird Areas include state-owned as well as privately held lands. Any landowners that are within the boundaries of these landscapes are eligible for the benefits of recognizing their properties as part of the IBA Complex, including eligibility for IBA small grants or utilizing the IBA status as a way to bolster other grant applications.
Great Meadows: This IBA includes lush farmland and forested wetlands along an 8-mile stretch of the Connecticut River in Wethersfield, East Hartford, Glastonbury, and Rocky Hill.
Lyme Forest Block: This area includes lands in several towns within Middlesex and New London Counties. Among state lands in this IBA are: Devil’s Hopyard State Park, Babcock Pond Wildlife Management Area, Zemko Pond Wildlife Management Area, Eightmile River Wildlife Management Area, Nehantic State Forest, Seldon Neck State Park, and Beckett Hill State Park.
Macedonia Forest Block: This area is located in Kent and Sharon. It includes Audubon Sharon and Macedonia Brook State Park.
Meshomasic Forest Block: This area covers lands in Hartford and Middlesex County, including Meshomasic State Forest and Gay City State Park.
Miles Wildlife Sanctuary and Housatonic State Forest Block: This area is located in Sharon and Lakeville, and includes Housatonic State Forest and the Audubon Miles Wildlife Sanctuary.
Mouth of the Connecticut River: This area is located in Old Lyme and Old Saybrook. It includes the Roger Tory Peterson Wildlife Management Area and the Ragged Rock Creek Wildlife Management Area.
Shepaug Forest Block: This area includes forested lands along a 15-mile stretch of the Shepaug River in Washington and Roxbury, Connecticut.
Working on a conservation project? Learn about the funds available to Audubon chapters, landowners, universities, and members of IBA stakeholder groups for projects that advance Audubon's conservation priorities at identified IBAs. Application deadline: January 31, 2018