Monumental effort to conserve
Two-thirds of Argentina's IBAs are unprotectedAves Argentinas (Birdlife in Argentina) has today launched the country's first national inventory of Important Bird Areas (IBAs) during its 11th Annual Ornithological Meeting held in the Buenos Aires Natural Science Museum.
Argentina has a large variety of habitats ranging from the High Andes, to tropical rainforests and glaciers. A team of almost 200 ornithologists and volunteers identified 273 Important Bird Areas covering 12% of this large country and forming a vital network for birds and other biodiversity.
Worryingly however, around two-thirds (64%) of these sites are not included in Argentina's protected areas network."The Americas are exerting a monumental effort to complete the identification of the continent's most vital sites for birds. However, the challenges are enormous - as can be seen in Argentina where just a third of IBAs are covered by the country's protected areas network." - Ian Davidson, Head of BirdLife's Americas Division Among the most threatened habitat is native grassland. Afforestation by fast-growing non-native species with little conservation worth (such as eucalypts) has replaced large areas of both humid and tall grasslands. Between 1995 and 2000, a law change aimed at promoting forestry plantations resulted in a 500% increase in these plantations. Among the species most-affected are the globally threatened Saffron-cowled Blackbird Xanthopsar flavus and Black-and-white Monjita Heteroxolmis dominicana.
Áreas importantes para la conservación de las aves en la Argentina consists of 524 pages, including many photos, tables and maps. The text is in Spanish. The book was published thanks to the support of Fundación BBVA.
The IBA Programme in Argentina has the support of Vogelbescherming Nederland, SEO/BirdLife, Alparamis, PanAmerican Energy, Conae, National Park Administration, American Bird Conservancy, Natural Grasslands Conservancy and the Migratory Species Convention.
4th July 2014