Advancing conservation through Wisconsin’s Important Bird Areas
WBCP recently partnered with Tom Prestby and GEI Consultants to assess the 93 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in Wisconsin to determine strengths and weaknesses of each IBA’s bird conservation potential and identify those with high potential for accelerated, strategic conservation delivery. Factors relating to bird usage, landscape and climate change resilience, and social capacity and support were analyzed with data from eBird, GIS, and a comprehensive survey that was distributed to contacts associated with each IBA. The analysis produced a detailed account on how each IBA currently delivers bird conservation for these factors, and preliminary lists of IBAs with high and moderate potential to deliver accelerated, strategic conservation delivery.
Through a series of discussions and workshops, WBCP then considered possible next steps for delivering conservation to these priority IBAs and the rest of the state’s IBAs. WBCP partnered with UW-Madison and Rachael Klicko to learn even more details about which actions can best improve conservation in the identified priority IBAs. This effort produced recommended strategies of how bird conservation can be delivered in these IBAs. A common theme in both efforts is that each IBA is unique and requires a plan tailored to its situation for bird conservation delivery.
We have come a long way in our knowledge of the conservation potential for Wisconsin’s IBAs in the last two years and are now supplied with detailed information for each IBA and bustling energy from our partners around the state to move this effort into the conservation delivery phase. We continue to strategize on how to best do this and look forward to taking next steps in 2022, beginning with the hiring of a part-time IBA coordinator early in the year.