Important Bird Areas-IBAs
Important Bird Areas-IBAs are among the world’s key sites for the conservation of biodiversity. They are identified nationally using data gathered locally, and compared with internationally adopted criteria. The programme recognizes that sites can be conserved in many different ways, ranging from strict protection to community based management.
Criteria for Selection
A site is declared as an IBA if it satisfies one or more of the following criteria:
A: Important Bird Areas – Global importance
A1. Species of global conservation concern
The site regularly holds significant numbers of a globally threatened species, or other species of global conservation concern.
A2. Restricted-range species
The site is known or thought to hold a significant component of the restricted-range species whose breeding distributions define an Endemic Bird Area (EBA) or Secondary Area (SA).
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.
The site is known or thought to hold, on a regular basis, ≥ 1% of a bio-geographic population of a congregatory waterbird species.
The site is known or thought to hold, on a regular basis, ≥ 1% of the global population of a congregatory seabird or terrestrial species.
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.
The site is known or thought to be a ‘bottleneck’ site where at least 20,000 storks (Ciconiidae), raptors (Accipitriformes and Falconiformes) or cranes (Gruidae) regularly pass during spring or autumn migration.
B: Important Bird Areas – Middle Eastern importance
B1: Regionally important congregations
The site may qualify on any one of the three criteria listed below:
The site is known or thought to hold ≥ 1% of a flyway or other distinct population of a waterbird species.
The site is known or thought to hold ≥ 1% of a distinct population of a seabird species.
The site is a ‘bottleneck’ site where over 5,000 storks, or over 3,000 raptors or cranes regularly pass on spring or autumn migration.
B2: Species with an unfavorable conservation status in the Middle East
The site is one of the five most important sites in the country/territory for a species with an unfavourable conservation status in the Middle East (threatened or declining throughout all or part of their range in the region) and for which the site-protection approach is thought to be appropriate.
B3: Species with a favorable conservation status but concentrated in the Middle East
The site is one of the five most important sites in the country/territory for a species with a favourable conservation status in the Middle East but with its global range concentrated in the Middle East, and for which the site-protection approach is thought to be appropriate.
IBA research project
SPNL-BirdLife partner in Lebanon and A Rocha Lebanon implemented a three year survey (2005 – 2008) funded by the MAVA Foundation. The survey aimed to identify new IBAs in Lebanon that together would provide a more comprehensive reflection of its varied habitats and biodiversity. 42 sites were proposed for study, out of which 31 were surveyed and 11 cancelled due to security issues. As a result of the study, in addition to the 4 sites declared in 1994, 11 new sites have been identified and declared by BirdLife International.
The map & coordinates of suspected IBA sites under study in Lebanon were given to the Ministry of Environment to ensure that they were excluded from zoning for quarry activity in a ministerial study during the 1st year of the project.
The fifteen (15) IBA sites in Lebanon that were approved are (from North to South):
|Palm Islands Nature Reserve||A1||500 ha||North-west of Tripoli|
|Upper Mountains of Akkar- Donnieh||A1, A2, A3, and A4iv||5,270 ha||Nothern end of Mount Lebanon|
|Semi Deserts of Ras Baalbek||A3||7,814 ha||North end of Bekaa Valley|
|EhdenForest Nature Reserve||A1, and A2||140 ha||North western slopes of Mount Lebanon|
|Tannourine Cedars Nature Reserve||A1, A2, and A4iv||Nothern Mount Lebanon|
|Bentael Forest Nature Reserve||B1iv||150 ha||Hills east of Byblos|
|JabalMousa Mountain||A4iv||6500||Keserwan- Byblos area|
|Rim- Sannine Mountain||A3, and A4iv||244 ha||Southern flans of Mount Sannine|
|Beirut River Valley||A4iv||8,096 ha||Beirut River Watershed|
|Shouf Cedar Nature Reserve||A1, and A2||20,000 ha||Shouf Mountains|
|Hima Anjar- KfarZabad||A1||326 ha||Eastern Bekaa Valley|
|Ramlieh Valley||B1iv||928 ha||Shouf Region|
|Aammiq Wetland||A1, A4i, and A4iv||280 ha||West Bakaa Valley|
|Lake Qaraoun||A4iv||1,190 ha||Southern Bekaa Valley|
|HimaEbeles- Saqi||A1, A2, and A4iv||219 ha||Southern Lebanon|
Key Biodiversity Areas – KBAs
Key Biodiversity Areas extend the Important Bird Area (IBA) concept and aim to other taxonomic groups and are also identified using globally standardised criteria. They are being identified for a range of animal and plant groups, on land, in freshwater and at sea.
Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) are sites of global significance for the conservation of biodiversity. They are identified nationally using simple, globally standardised criteria and thresholds, based on the needs of biodiversity requiring safeguards at the site scale (Eken et al. 2004, Langhammer et al. 2007). As the building blocks for designing the ecosystem approach and maintaining effective ecological networks, Key Biodiversity Areas are the starting point for landscape-level conservation planning. Governments, inter-governmental organisations, NGOs, the private sector and other stakeholders can use KBAs as a tool to identify and augment national systems of globally important sites for conservation (Langhammer et al. 2007).
KBAs extend the Important Bird Area (IBA) concept to other taxonomic groups and are now being identified in many parts of the world, by a range of organisations. Examples include Important Plant Areas (IPAs) (Anderson 2002, Plantlife International 2004), Prime Butterfly Areas (van Swaay and Warren 2003), Important Mammal Areas (Linzey 2002) and Important Sites for Freshwater Biodiversity, with prototype criteria developed for freshwater molluscs and fish (Darwall and Vié 2005) and for marine systems (Edgar et al. 2008).
The aim of the KBA approach is to identify, document and protect networks of sites that are critical for the conservation of global biodiversity. Here a ‘site’ means an area (whatever the size) that can be delimited and, potentially, managed for conservation. As with IBAs, KBAs are identified based on populations of species that are threatened or geographically concentrated. All IBAs are KBAs, but some KBAs are not IBAs (i.e. they are significant for the conservation of other taxa, but not birds). Nevertheless, the IBA network has proved a good approximation to the overall network of KBAs, as it includes the bulk of other target species and the most significant sites. IBAs are thus an excellent starting point for immediate conservation planning and action—other sites can be added to complete the network as data become available.