San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area Reaffirmed as a Global Important Bird Area – May 4th
The San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area in southeastern Arizona has long been known as a premier birding location. This Saturday, May 4, that status will be highlighted during the 8th annual International Migratory Bird Day celebration at the San Pedro House east of Sierra Vista.
Arizona Audubon, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Sonoran Joint Venture, and Arizona Game and Fish Department will join together to re-dedicate the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area (NCA) as a Globally Important Bird Area. This 57,000-acre NCA, with 40 miles of the San Pedro River as its heart, supports nearly 400 migrant and nesting avian species.
Many partners joined Audubon and the BLM to gather data needed to reaffirm the NCA’s importance. Volunteers from Huachuca Audubon, Tucson Audubon, Friends of the San Pedro River, Southeastern Arizona Bird Observatory, San Pedro Avian Resources Center, and other organizations and individuals documented key species and populations that earned the NCA this distinction.
The birds that qualified the site as globally important are Arizona Bell’s Vireo, Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Gray Hawk, Lucy’s Warbler, and Abert’s Towhee, plus the diversity and numbers of neotropical migrants, primarily warblers. This riparian corridor of cottonwoods, willows and other native species provides a critical migration corridor between countries in Central and South America and sites in the northern U.S. and Canada.
“The BLM is committed to ensuring that the avian habitats supported by the San Pedro River continue to flourish,” said Kathy Pedrick, BLM Acting Gila District Manager. “We and our partners know that we must conserve, protect and enhance this special place for future generations.”
The San Pedro was originally recognized by the American Bird Conservancy in 1996 as the first Globally Important Bird Area in North America. In 2000, Audubon was designated by BirdLife International as its new U.S. IBA partner and is now the lead on this program. Audubon has reconfirmed the San Pedro’s global status.
The re-dedication will take place at 1:00 p.m. The public is invited to attend and spend the whole day at the International Migratory Bird Day celebration on May 4. Learn more in the IMBD flyer or call 520-508-4445.
eBird Blitz of the Rincons, Catalinas and Tucson Mountains – Birders needed!!
We are trying to make a new Important Bird Area around Tucson and need your help! The Sky Islands around Tucson and the excellent Sonoran Desert the connect them are excellent habitats for our native birds. The Arizona IBA Program is working to get this area recognized as an Important Bird Area and we need your help gathering data.
How this works is simple! Starting April 22 (Earth Day) and ending May 31 we need birders to visit these areas of interest and enter what they see into eBird.org and then share their list with the username ArizonaIBA (no space!). Your observations will then be used as direct data for the IBA nomination. All birders who share a list with us will be recognized for their efforts and entered into a drawing for a prize!
***It is also extremely helpful to share any existing eBird lists you may have in your account from the past in these areas with the ArizonaIBA username.***
For more information please checkout the full blog post here
Check out the online interactive National IBA map here
Upcoming IBA Events for the New Year 2013!
Checkout our new booklet on Arizona’s Important Bird Areas. This booklet features each of Arizona’s 42 IBAs with information on how to best visit each IBA, site information, the birds that make each area special and conservation issues that each IBA is facing.
A PDF of the booklet suitable for online viewing here
If you have comments and edits for this second draft booklet, you can download this PDF file and make corrections/suggestions right in the PDF. If you could then add your name to the end of the file name and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will make those changes. Thank you so much for helping us to make this booklet the best it can be!
The Arizona Important Bird Areas Program is co-administered by:
Audubon Arizona (Tice Supplee, Director of Bird Conservation) and Tucson Audubon Society (Jennie MacFarland, AZ IBA Program Conservation Biologist).
The Arizona IBA Program, Avian Science Initiative is led by the Arizona IBA Program at Tucson Audubon Society. This website and the AZ IBA Bird Survey Database linked within it are administered by Tucson Audubon Society.
To participate in science-based IBA bird surveys managed by Audubon’s IBA Program in Arizona, including surveys at potential IBAs, existing IBAs, or at sites of interest to Audubon chapters in AZ, please contact Jennie MacFarland, AZ IBA Program Conservation Biologist at Tucson Audubon Society (520) 209-1804.
To inquire about the AZ IBA Program in general, including the IBA nomination and review process, the AZ IBA Science Committee, IBAs identified to date, and IBA recognition & publicity, as well as Audubon state policy issues, please contact Tice Supplee, Director of Bird Conservation at Audubon Arizona (620) 468-6470 x106.
Additionally, both IBA Program offices in Arizona work on issues and specific projects for the conservation of Important Bird Areas in Arizona . The IBA Program works with people to promote win-win-win objectives for people, wildlife, communities, and sustainable economies.
The AZ IBA Program also works in partnership with the Arizona Game and Fish Department (through the Arizona Bird Conservation Initiative), the Sonoran Joint Venture, the Intermountain West Joint Venture, Arizona State Parks, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, BLM, land trusts, and various non-governmental organizations, colleges, and universities.
- Hummingbird Monitoring Network – This organization primarily uses volunteer hummingbird banders, data recorders and trappers to track movements and abundance of hummingbirds. There are several trapping sites within or very near Important Bird Areas. The sites in southern Arizona are: Sabino Canyon, Sonoita Creek State Natural Area, Florida Canyon (Santa Ritas), Harshaw Creek (Patagonia), Garden Canyon (Huachuca Mountains), Ft Huachuca Public Affairs Office, Mt Lemmon, El Coronado Ranch (Turkey Canyon, Chiricahua Mtns), George Walker House (Paradise, Chiricahua Mtns), South Western Research Station (Chiricahua Mtns). Information about how you can volunteer with the HMN can be found at www.hummonnet.org and information about the Sabino Canyon site specifically can be found at www.humbander.net