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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 Namesort descending Status Priority Counties IBA Criteria
Lake Wales Ridge Recognized Global Lake, Osceola, Polk D3, D5
Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge Recognized Continental B3
Little Estero Lagoon Recognized State Lee D1, D4iv, D4v
Lower Tampa Bay Recognized Global Hillsborough D3, D4iv, D4v
Loxahatchee River and Slough Recognized Global Martin
Matanzas Inlet and River Recognized State
Myakka River Watershed Recognized Global De Soto B3
North Lido Beach- Palmer Point Recognized State D1, D3
Northern Atlantic Migrant Stopover Recognized State Nassau
Northern Everglades Recognized Global D3, D4iii, D5
Ocala National Forest-Lake George Recognized Global Lake, Marion, Putnam B3, D3, D4vi
Orlando Wetlands Park Recognized State Orange
Oscar Scherer State Park Recognized Global D3, D5
Osceola Flatwoods and Prairies Recognized Global Osceola D3, D5
Osceola National Forest-Okefenokee Swamp Recognized Global Baker, Columbia B3, D3
Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park Recognized State D3, D4iv
Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge Recognized State D1, D3, D4iii
Pelican Shoal Recognized State Monroe
Red Hills Ecosystem Recognized Global Jefferson, Leon B3, D1, D3, D5
Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve Recognized State D1, D3, D4iii, D4iv, D5