May 28, 2015
Contact: Suzanne Langley, Executive Director, 205-719-3678
Dauphin Island & Eufaula NWR Prioritized as Globally Significant Important Bird Areas
Birmingham, AL – The U.S. Important Bird Area (IBA) Committee has prioritized two sites in Alabama as globally significant for birds of conservation concern documented in reliable numbers at these locations. Dauphin Island and Eufaula National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) are considered sites of global significance because both locations provide essential habitat for birds classified as critical, endangered, vulnerable or near-threatened.
Bird species of global conservation concern at these Alabama sites include:
• Dauphin Island: Semipalmated Sandpiper, Piping Plover
• Eufaula NWR: Rusty Blackbird
Important Bird Areas provide essential habitat for one or more species of breeding, wintering or migrating birds. As the U. S. Partner for Birdlife International, National Audubon Society identifies and works to conserve a network of IBAs throughout the U.S. This network of sites is comprised of state-level IBAs prioritized as continentally or globally significant by the U. S. IBA Committee, a panel of nationally recognized bird experts.
With the announcement changing Dauphin Island and Eufaula NWR from state-level to global IBAs, the number of globally significant bird areas in Alabama grows to six including: Conecuh National Forest, Talladega National Forest (Okmulgee District) and Talladega National Forest (Shoal Creek/Talladega District) all for providing essential habitat for the Red-cockaded Woodpecker, an endangered species; and, Wheeler National Refuge for Rusty Blackbird habitat. Both Dauphin Island and Eufaula NWR were among the 12 state-level IBAs.
The Important Bird Areas Program, coordinated by Birdlife International, relies on local stewardship and focuses on engaging individuals, private landowners, local communities, businesses, partner organizations and government agencies in site conservation.
Birmingham Audubon is a staffed, urban chapter of National Audubon Society representing members and supporting conservation and recreational programs in seven central Alabama counties in addition to working with Alabama Audubon chapters on bird and habitat conservation projects throughout Alabama. Birmingham Audubon and Mobile Bay Audubon coordinate the Audubon Coastal Bird Survey in Mobile and Baldwin Counties.