Audubon's Important Bird Area (IBA) program is a conservation blueprint that helps Audubon, its partners, and landowners identify and safeguard the natural areas and landscapes that are most critical for maintaining bird populations, diversity, and habitats. In North Carolina, these living landscapes comprise more than 4.9 million acres ranging from man made islands where nesting coastal birds find refuge, to rugged Grandfather Mountain where challenging trails and scenic vistas attract tourists and hikers from all over the country. As watchful stewards of North Carolina's 97 IBAs, Audubon staff encourages landowners to use environmentally friendly practices and works with partners such as the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation, NC Wildlife Resources Commission, and local land trusts to craft management plans that benefit key bird species and habitats within their holdings. Audubon North Carolina depends upon an army of volunteers, including members of the state's local chapters, to help monitor close to 80% of the IBAs in the state through the Adopt an IBA program and other monitoring programs. IBA data has been folded into all the state's major conservation initiatives, including the Statewide Comprehensive Conservation Plan. Through ongoing monitoring of bird and wildlife populations, Audubon biologists stay informed of the health and vitality of every IBA. If legislation or land management threaten IBAs and birdlife, Audubon intervenes with measured, science-based strategies. In 2011, Audubon North Carolina published the second iteration of our "Important Bird Areas of North Carolina", which features descriptions, species lists, and maps. Visit our state blog at http://ncaudubonblog.org/ to view the publication online or retrieve our GIS layer files for the IBAs across the state. We are always looking for volunteers to help us monitor the IBAs around the state. Visit the Adopt an IBA page of our website to learn how you can get involved!