Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Balcones Canyonlands Preserve Designated as Globally Important Bird Area (IBA)
Southwest Region, January 30, 2009
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The Balcones Canyonlands Preserve (BCP), in and near Austin, Travis County, Texas was designated a Globally Important Bird Area (IBA) by BirdLife International, a global Partnership of conservation organizations that strives to conserve birds, their habitats and global biodiversity, working with people towards sustainability in the use of natural resources.  The BCP is a more than 28,000-acre area created to comply with the terms and conditions of a habitat conservation plan (HCP) and Federal incidental take permit issued jointly to the City of Austin and Travis County in 1996. The HCP, known as the Balcones Canyonlands Conservation Plan, created a regional approach to the conservation of two endangered birds; the golden-cheeked warbler and the black-capped vireo; six endangered cave invertebrates, and 27 additional unlisted species while providing a streamlined pathway allowing landowners to develop their land in full compliance with the Endangered Species Act.

The BCP was established to offset the impacts to covered species resulting from development throughout the rest of the County. The BCP is a locally based cooperative effort managed by the City of Austin and Travis County in cooperation with the Lower Colorado River Authority, the Travis Audubon Society, the Nature Conservancy of Texas, the Committee for Wild Basin Wilderness and numerous other private and corporate partners.

The designation of the BCP as an IBA was due largely to the efforts of the Travis County Audubon Society, which also manages a portion of the preserve.  The designation is significant because it gives international recognition to the conservation of bird species in the area, and because it will facilitate additional funding for, and interest in research on the preserve. 


Contact Info: Bill Seawell, 512 490-0057, bill_seawell@fws.gov
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