IBA criteria used to identify important bird areas

IBA-criteria used to identify important bird areas in Iceland from BirdLife International.

Twenty IBA criteria have been developed for the selection of IBAs in Europe. These allow the identification of IBAs, based on a site’s international importance for:

  • Threatened bird species
  • Congregatory bird species
  • Assemblages of restricted-range bird species
  • Assemblages of biome-restricted bird species

Criteria have been developed such that, by applying different (‘staggered’) numerical thresholds, the international importance of a site for a species may be categorized at three distinct geographical levels:

  • Global (‘A’ criteria)
  • European (‘B’ criteria)
  • European Union (‘C’ criteria; does not apply to Iceland)

A: Global

A1. Species of global conservation concern

The site regularly holds significant numbers of a globally threatened species, or other species of global conservation concern.

A3. Biome-restricted species

The site is known or thought to hold a significant assemblage of the species whose breeding distributions are largely or wholly confined to one biome.

A4. Congregations

i. The site is known or thought to hold, on a regular basis, ≥ 1% of a biogeographic population of a congregatory waterbird species.

ii. The site is known or thought to hold, on a regular basis, ≥ 1% of the global population of a congregatory seabird or terrestrial species.

iii. The site is known or thought to hold, on a regular basis, ≥ 20,000 waterbirds or ≥10,000 pairs of seabird of one or more species.

B: European

B1. Congregations

i. The site is known or thought to hold ≥1% of a flyway or other distinct population of a waterbird species.

ii. The site is known or thought to hold ≥1% of a distinct population of a seabird species.

iii. The site is known or thought to hold ≥1% of a flyway or other distinct population of other congregatory species.

B2. Species with an unfavourable conservation status in Europe

The site is one of the ‘n’ most important in the country for a species with an unfavourable conservation status in Europe (SPEC 2, 3) and for which the site-protection approach is thought to be appropriate.

B3. Species with a favourable conservation status in Europe

The site is one of the ‘n’ most important in the country for a species with a favourable conservation status in Europe but concentrated in Europe (SPEC 4) and for which the site-protection approach is thought to be appropriate.

IBA-criteria used to define important ares for Icelandic birds (pdf)

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