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Maryland IBA Contact

David Curson

Maryland IBAs by Type

IBA Priority Number Acres
Global 6 322,899
Continental 7 344,204
State 29 333,075
Total 42 1,000,178

Check out our {link:2011 Newsletter| IBA Newsletter.pdf} 42 Important Bird Areas in Maryland! {link:See Map|} The Important Bird Areas Program in Maryland and DC publicly recognized its first 14 IBAs in March 2005. These include three globally important sites hosting such threatened and vulnerable species as Black Rail, Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed Sparrow, Piping Plover and Tundra Swan. Maryland has a surprising diversity of landscapes for a small state. Habitats supporting bird species of conservation concern include floodplain forest, northern coniferous forest, meadow grassland, boreal bog, brackish marshes, sandy barrier islands and others. The process of identifying IBAs continues and it is expected that more than 40 sites will be documented by 2007. The Chesapeake Bay region will likely hold the largest acreages of IBAs because the extensive tidal wetlands, floodplain marshes and forests, and open waters support continentally and globally significant populations of waterfowl, marsh-nesting birds and Bald Eagles. The Maryland-DC IBA Program is overseen by a Technical Review Committee representing state and federal agencies, academic ornithologists, the birding community, and regional biologists. The current IBA effort, led by Audubon Maryland-DC's Director of Bird Conservation since 2004, builds upon groundwork laid in the 1990s by volunteers of the Audubon Naturalist Society. Two essential components of the IBA process are partnerships with landowners and the involvement of public volunteers. Our conservation achievements to date have included both of these components. In 2005 volunteers from the Chesapeake chapter of Audubon surveyed historical nesting sites of the state-threatened Least Tern and found two re-established tern colonies. At Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, part of the Blackwater-Fishing Bay Marshes IBA, Audubon is working with USFWS and others to extend support for a program to eradicate introduced nutria, which damage wetlands, and to incorporate research and management needs of brackish marsh birds into the Comprehensive Conservation Plan.

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