Birds link us to the natural world every day of the year - even in the most urban settings. Like so many Canadians, did you wake up to nature and wild things by stopping one day to watch a bird fly, feed or nest?
Birds do so much for us. They keep our ecosystems running smoothly by controlling rodents and insect pests, scavenging wastes and pollinating plants. And there’s much to be learned by getting out the binoculars and watching common birds. As our best-known group of living things, birds are easy to identify and count. The results, over time, show us where our environment is not what it used to be, and when the decline (or improvement) started happening.
The truth is that healthy bird populations suggest healthy habitats for all species, including humans. So we watch, count, study and marvel at them!
Sadly, many of Canada's birds have suffered severe population declines over the past decades. Like other species, birds face mounting pressures on their habitats and populations. Some of these pressures may be due to climate change. Currently, one in eight of the world’s birds are threatened with global extinction, and of the 428 bird species that regularly breed in Canada, 60 are classified as at risk.Nature Canada, as the Canadian partner of BirdLife International, with Bird Studies Canada, launched Canada’s Important Bird Areas Program in 1996. Since then, we have identified nearly 600 IBAs across Canada.
Acting with regional conservation partners, we’ve built an exhaustive IBA database, finalized almost 100 site conservation plans, helped communities implement more than 150 local projects, and initiated a volunteer network of IBA Caretakers.
Working in harmony with bird conservation efforts from local to international levels, Canada’s IBA Program has become a cornerstone in science-based, site-specific conservation for birds and biodiversity.
Learn more about our vision for Important Bird Areas in Canada: The Canadian IBA Agenda.
Community care of local habitats in and around Important Bird Areas is essential for the health of our birds and for protecting the environment.
In 2009, TransCanada Corporation committed $1 million over the next five years as a national sponsor of the Canadian Important Bird Area Caretakers Network, a nationwide initiative to establish a volunteer network of caretakers who will watch over and protect Important Bird Areas in their community.
The Canadian Important Bird Areas (IBA) Caretaker Network has been established in seven provinces: Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.
Caretakers work within their communities to promote Important Bird Areas and to ensure that local conservation ideas are put into action. Their hands-on volunteer work puts Caretakers on the frontlines of bird monitoring and habitat protection.
Find out more about the IBA Caretaker Network.Wind energy is a clean, abundant, renewable source of energy that can contribute to combating the harmful environmental changes brought about by global warming. But poorly placed wind turbines can also pose a significant threat to wildlife, particularly birds and bats.
To get wind power right in Canada, Nature Canada is engaging provincial and federal governments to enact policies and regulations that ensure that wind turbines and wind farms are not located in Important Bird Areas or other areas with particular significance to congregating, migrating or breeding birds.
We believe that wind energy development is an important part of a green energy solution and that renewable energy policies can fight climate change, and be good for wildlife at the same time.
Read more about wildlife-friendly wind energy options.
Working with BirdLife partners in the Americas, Nature Canada develops and advances hemispheric bird conservation objectives for migrating and local birds. We currently have projects in Paraguay, Brazil, Haiti, Cuba and the Dominican Republic to reduce pressure on bird habitat and improve the lives of local human populations.
Find out more about our international bird conservation efforts.
Canada and Bird Studies Canada are Canadian co-partners
delivering BirdLife Internationals Important
Bird Areas program in Canada. We aim to identify,
monitor and protect a global network of IBAs for
the conservation of the worlds birds and other