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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 ascending Priority Counties IBA Criteria
Cape Canaveral-Merritt Island Recognized Global D3, D4ii, D4iii, D4iv
Central Pasco Recognized Global D3
Chassahowitzka-Weekiwachee Recognized State D3
Citrus County Spoil Islands Recognized Global Citrus A4i, D1
Clearwater Harbor-St. Joseph Sound Recognized State D1, D4iv
Coastal Pasco Recognized State D3, D4vii
Cockroach Bay-Terra Ceia Recognized State Hillsborough D1, D3, D4iii
Crystal River Tidal Marshes Recognized State D1, D3
Disney Wilderness Preserve Recognized State Osceola, Polk D3
Emeralda Marsh Recognized State Lake, Marion
Green Swamp Ecosystem Recognized Continental Lake, Polk, Sumter B3
Gulf Islands GEOPark Recognized Global D3, D4iv, D4v
Highlands Hammock-Charlie Creek Recognized Continental B3
Hillsborough Bay Recognized Global Hillsborough D4iii, D4iv
Johns Pass Recognized State D1
Kissimmee Lake and River Recognized State Osceola, Polk
Kissimmee Prairie Preserve and State Park Recognized Global Osceola D3, D4iii
Lake Apopka Restoration Area Recognized State Lake, Orange D3, D4ii, D4iii, D4iv, D4v, D4vi
Lake Hancock-Upper Peace River Recognized State Polk D3, D4iii
Lake Istokpoga and Adjacent Uplands Recognized State


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