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Florida IBA Contact

Marianne Korosy

Florida IBAs by Type

IBA Priority Number Acres
Global 42 8,553,949
Continental 9 464,208
State 49 1,396,721
Total 100 10,414,878

The primary goal of Florida's Important Bird Area Program is to help ensure the persistence of the state's native avifauna and native habitats through sound land management, habitat preservation, and the work of volunteer citizen scientists. Florida's birds and their habitats are under continued pressure from habitat loss and fragmentation, fire exclusion, proliferation of exotic and invasive species, and various forms of human disturbance. The Florida IBA program launched in 1999 with hiring of a Coordinator and formation of an Executive Committee comprised of some of the state's leading ornithologists. State-appropriate selection criteria were in place by 2000 and the committee completed prioritization of nominated sites by 2002. One hundred State IBAs were selected, a list comprised of important migration stopover areas as well as areas important to breeding and overwintering birds. Limited revisions to the original IBA manuscript were completed in 2010. Publication of the Important Bird Areas of Florida book is expected in 2012 and will be co-funded by Audubon of Florida and the Florida Ornithological Society. The IBA program benefits from a number of partnership organizations including the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Florida Park Service, Department of Environmental Protection, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of Defense, municipal governments, faculty from State universities and private colleges, and a host of non-profit organizations. A number of the Gulf Coast IBAs, especially in northwest Florida, were impacted directly by the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster and others were impacted by well-intentioned cleanup activities. Breeding bird populations in Gulf Coast IBAs along peninsular Florida, although unaffected directly by oil landfall or invasive cleanup activities in 2010, were bolstered by an outpouring of committed volunteers that enriched ongoing bird stewardship programs. Florida's coastal IBAs that host beach-nesting birds and are accessible by land have active volunteer bird steward programs operating from April-May through August-September annually. Offshore IBAs are monitored and protected by Audubon Florida wardens or volunteers in partnership with state and federal agencies. State and Global IBAs supporting federally Threatened Florida Scrub-Jay populations are surveyed annually by Audubon Florida's Jay Watch volunteers in cooperation with land managers and wildlife agencies. Audubon chapters steward some of Florida's forest IBAs including Blackwater River State Forest and Withlacoochee State Forest.

Site Name Statussort descending Priority Counties IBA Criteria
William Beardall Tosohatchee State Reserve Recognized State Orange
Withlacoochee-Panasoffkee-Big Scrub Recognized Global Marion, Sumter D3
Withlacoochee State Forest (Citrus and Croom tracts) Recognized Global Sumter B3
ABC Islands Recognized State D4iii, D5
Babcock-Webb Ecosystem Recognized Global Charlotte, Lee B3
Big Cypress Swamp Watershed Recognized Global Dade, Monroe
Big Marco Pass Shoal Recognized Global
Biscayne Bay Recognized Global Dade
Everglades National Park Recognized Global Dade, Monroe A1, D3, D4iii, D4iv, D4v, D4vi, D5
Fisheating Creek Watershed Recognized Global B3, D3, D4vi
J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge Recognized State Lee D1, D3, D4iii, D4v
Lake Okeechobee Recognized State Martin
Little Estero Lagoon Recognized State Lee D1, D4iv, D4v
Loxahatchee River and Slough Recognized Global Martin
Northern Everglades Recognized Global D3, D4iii, D5
Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve Recognized State D1, D3, D4iii, D4iv, D5
Sanibel Lighthouse Park Recognized State Lee D4vii
Southern Atlantic Migrant Stopover Recognized State
Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge Recognized State D3, D4iii
Dry Tortugas National Park Recognized Global Monroe D3, D4iv, D5


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