Important Bird Areas (IBA) 

Important Bird Areas (IBAs) are areas recognized as being globally significant habitat for the conservation of bird populations. As of 2009, nearly 11,000 sites in some 200 countries and territories have been identified as Important Bird Areas. The IBA criteria are internationally agreed, standardised, quantitative and scientifically justifiable. Ideally the site should be large enough to support viable populations of the important species.

To be listed as an IBA, a site must harbour at least one of the following:

  • Globally threatened species
  • Restricted-range species
  • Biome-restricted species
  • Congregations
Summary statistics for IBAs across the seven countries in the HKH region

Country

No. of IBAs

Total area of IBAs (sq.km)

% of land area within network

Number of IBAs qualifying under category*

Number of IBAs

A1

A2

A3

A4

Protected

Partially protected

Unprotected

Bangladesh

19

5,396

3.6

11

0

10

9

11

2

6

Bhutan

23

12,133

31.6

23

12

15

4

8

0

15

China (mainland)

445

1,134,546

11.9

400

162

280

162

247

64

134

India

465

164,118

5.2

435

208

123

141

266

0

199

Myanmar

55

54,364

8.0

43

13

27

25

16

3

36

Nepal

27

26,119

17.1

24

13

23

9

12

2

13

Pakistan

55

46,701

5.9

36

16

28

30

33

9

13

* A1 = Globally threatened species; A2 = Restricted-range species; A3 = Biome-restricted species; A4 = Congregations

Source: Birdlife International (2004)