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Alaska IBAs by Type

IBA Priority Number Acres
Global 174 106,641,073
Continental 8 3,155,469
State 31 9,705,649
Total 213 119,502,191

Click Here for a downloadable map of Alaska's IBAs.

Alaska spans 1200 miles from north to south, and 2300 miles from west to east with a land mass that is larger than Texas, California, and Montana combined. Alaska has over 47,000 miles of coastline and a diversity of habitats that range from temperate rainforest to Arctic tundra. Alaska also has more than 75 million seabirds, 10 million waterfowl, and many species of birds that breed nowhere else in the US.

Alaska's IBA program began in 2000, in cooperation with the Russian Union for Bird Conservation and the Asia Council of BirdLife International, to identify marine and coastal IBAs on both the Alaskan and Russian sides of the Bering Sea. In October 2001, Audubon Alaska initiated a second IBA project in the Cook Inlet watershed of southcentral Alaska. Sites were identified based on information provided by wildlife agencies, Audubon chapters, major landowners, and others in the Cook Inlet area.

In 2004, Audubon Alaska received a State Wildlife Grant from the Alaska Department of Fish & Game to support a statewide IBA project. Building on the work already carried out in the Bering Sea and Cook Inlet regions, Audubon Alaska launched the statewide IBA project in 2005, and over the next few years identified IBAs across Alaska. An Alaska IBA Technical Committee was formed in April 2005 to help to guide the process.

From 2010 to 2015, we developed spatial analysis methods to reassess Alaska's IBAs. We identified marine IBAs utilizing a wealth of new at-sea survey data (the NPPSD 2) and the revised Beringian seabird colony catalog. We identified new and/or revised coastal and interior IBAs using an extensive compilation of data we called the Alaska Waterbird Dataset. This work was supported by a grant from the Alaska Department of Fish & Game. The marine IBA identification methods were published in Biological Conservation in 2014

We continue to gather and analyze bird survey datasets to identify core areas for species within Alaska. Currently our work focuses on utilizing the existing IBAs and spatial data layers to analyze threats, prioritize our work, and recommend conservation of these sites.

Site Namesort ascending Status Priority Counties IBA Criteria
Swanson Lakes Recognized Global Kenai Peninsula D4ii
Susitna Flats Recognized Global Matanuska-Susitna D3
Stikine River Delta Recognized Global Wrangell-Petersburg D4i
Stephens Passage & Tracy-Endicott Arms Identified Global Juneau, Skagway-Hoonah-Angoon
Stebbins-St. Michael Recognized State Nome D4ii, D4vi
St. Paul Island Colony Identified Global Aleutians West
St. Matthew Island Marine Identified Global Bethel
St. Matthew & Hall Islands Colonies Identified Global Bethel
St. Lazaria Island Colony Identified Global Sitka
St. Lawrence Island Polynya Recognized Global Nome, Wade Hampton D3, D5
St. George Island Marine Identified Global Aleutians West
St. George Island Colony Identified Global Aleutians West
Spitz Island Colony Identified Global Lake and Peninsula
Southwestern Kenai Peninsula Marine Identified Global Kenai Peninsula
Southwest Cape Colonies Identified Global Nome
Shumagin Islands Marine Identified Global Aleutians East
Shishmaref Inlet Recognized State Nome D4ii, D4iii, D4iv, D4v, D4vi, D5
Sheep Mountain Recognized State Matanuska-Susitna
Semisopochnoi Island Colonies Identified Global Aleutians West
Semidi Islands Marine Identified Global Kodiak Island

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