November 18, 2003
The American Bird Conservancy today named 43 Southeast National Wildlife Refuges United States globally-Import ant Bird Areas in a new guide being announced today.
The National Wildlife Refuge System provides one third of this country’s globally-Important Bird Areas according to a new guide released today by the American Bird Conservancy. Of the total 508 areas the Conservancy designated, 160 are national wildlife refuges, managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. An Important Bird Area provides habitat for birds either on a year-round basis or during seasonal migrations.
“In our most recent survey of hunting, fishing, and wildlife-associated recreation, we found that twenty- two percent of all Americans are birders,” said Service Director Steve Williams. “National wildlife refuges serve both people and birds by providing habitat for the species as well as places where people can enjoy watching and learning about birds.”
To receive an Important Bird Areas designation, an area must have a significant presence of one or more of the following: populations of endangered or threatened bird species; concentrations of migratory birds; populations of species with restricted ranges; and birds contained on the Partners in Flight watch list.
“The Southeast is well represented with more than 40 National Wildlife Refuges that have been received this Important Bird Area designation with truly spectacular bird-watching opportunities,” said Sam D. Hamilton, Southeast Regional Director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Examples of bird species benefitting from these protected areas include the Black-crowned Night-Herons at Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, the Pileated Woodpeckers at ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge in South Carolina, and endangered Whooping cranes at Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge, Florida.
To see a map with links by state to all 500 sites designated by American Bird Conservancy as Globally Important Bird Areas visit: http://www.abcbirds.org/iba/ibalist.htm
More than twenty other Important Bird Areas’s are found on lands managed by other Interior Department agencies such as the National Park Service and the Bureau of Land Management.
For more information on the National Wildlife Refuge System now celebrating its centennial anniversary, please visit http://www.refuges.fws.gov; To learn more about Important Bird Areas’s and the bird species dependant upon them, visit http://www.abcbirds.org.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving,
protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats
for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages
the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses
nearly 542 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and
other special management areas. It
Southeast Region National Wildlife Refuges Designated as Important Bird Areas:
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 542 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resource offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.
NOTE: You can view our releases or subscribe to receive them -- via e-mail -- at the Service's Southeast Regional home page at http://southeast.fws.gov. Our national home page is at: http://news.fws.gov/newsreleases/.
Atlanta, GA 30345