New York State Parks Are for the Birds

New York State is home to more than 130 Important Bird Areas (IBAs), designated by Audubon New York because they meet criteria indicating their significance to priority birds and habitat. The IBA program is a bird conservation initiative with simple goals: to identify the most important places for birds and conserve them. Many of these IBAs overlap with state parks and historic sites. The IBA program identifies, monitors, and protects habitats critical to the success of bird populations.

New York State also has 59 Bird Conservation Areas (BCAs), which are publicly owned lands critically important to birds for migration, habitat, and nesting, among other things. New York State Environmental Conservation Law designates an area as a BCA because of its significance to large numbers of waterfowl, pelagic seabirds, shorebirds, wading birds, or migratory birds. Additional criteria include areas supporting high species diversity, species at risk, or with notable bird research. The BCA program, modeled after the IBA program, can help agency staff and partners prioritize management decisions at these sites. More than 300 bird species live in state parks. Here are the 24 state parks that are considered BCAs:

Audubon New York’s partnership with State Parks, Audubon in the Parks, was formed with the intention of helping to improve habitat for birds at designated BCAs and IBAs, and has led to initiatives from nest box trails and field trips to habitat enhancement and volunteer days through Audubon chapter programming, I Love My Park day events, and in partnership with Friends groups and other partners.

In addition, local community members (Audubon chapters, local land trusts, bird clubs, school groups, Friends groups, etc.) can adopt an IBA through Audubon New York. Adopting an IBA includes organizing an education program, monitoring effort, clean-up day, or habitat improvement project. Adopting an IBA helps raise awareness of the importance of the IBA effort at the local level, in order to conserve, restore and protect the area.

For more information contact:

Laura McCarthy, Manager of Conservation Engagement

Audubon New York 2 3rd St, Suite 480 Troy, NY 12180


Category: YGHF