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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
San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park Recognized State
Sanibel Lighthouse Park Recognized State Lee D4vii
Sarasota and Roberts Bay Recognized State D1, D4iv
Southern Atlantic Migrant Stopover Recognized State
St. Johns National Wildlife Refuge Recognized Global
St. Joseph Bay Recognized State D1, D3, D4vi
St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge Recognized State Jefferson, Taylor D1, D3, D4ii, D4iii, D4iv, D4v, D5
St. Sebastian River State Buffer Preserve Recognized Global D3
Starkey Wilderness Recognized Continental B3, D1, D3
Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge Recognized State D3, D4iii
Turkey Creek Sanctuary Recognized State
Upper St. Johns River Basin Recognized State Orange, Osceola, Seminole D3, D4ii, D4iii, D4vi
Volusia County Colony Islands Recognized State
Wakulla Springs Recognized State
Walton County Beaches Recognized State Walton D1, D3
Wekiva-Ocala Greenway Recognized Continental Lake B3, D3
Wekiwa Basin GEOPark Recognized Global Lake, Orange, Seminole B3
William Beardall Tosohatchee State Reserve Recognized State Orange
Withlacoochee State Forest (Citrus and Croom tracts) Recognized Global Sumter B3
Withlacoochee-Panasoffkee-Big Scrub Recognized Global Marion, Sumter D3


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