Saving Important Bird Areas

Key places for California birds

With its dramatic coastlines, ocean environments, lush forests, blooming valleys, and vivid deserts, California’s spectacular natural landscapes host the largest, most diverse concentration of birds in the United States.  Scattered across this geography are 177 marine and land-based Important Bird Areas that provide more than 19 million acres of essential habitat for breeding, wintering, and migrating birds. We must protect these sites to ensure the survival of our state’s rich array of birds.

To learn more about Important Bird Areas in California, explore our interactive map. This section of our website contains links to maps, site descriptions, and other information related to California’s Important Bird Areas. We encourage you to look around and learn more.

Audubon California has used the best science to identify and map these Important Bird Areas. Part of national and international effort, land-based sites were nominated by local experts and selected according to strict criteria:

  • Support over 1% of the global or 10% of the state population of one or more sensitive species
  • Support more than nine sensitive bird species
  • 10,000 or more observable shorebirds in one day
  • 5,000 or more observable waterfowl in one day

For additional information on marine IBAs, you can also check out another interactive map

To nominate a new Important Bird Area, please email us with a brief description of your proposed site and location (click on the map above to determine if area is already an IBA). A site will need to meet at least one of the criteria above and have data from within the past 10 years, and for more than 1 year. If your site fits this description, we will send you a nomination form and instructions.

If you have any questions or need help setting up a monitoring program, please contact ajones@audubon.org .

Thank you in advance for your help in monitoring California’s birds!

California IBA interactive site map
Important Bird Areas

Map of California Important Bird Areas

Check out our interactive map of California's Important Bird Areas.

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New opportunities for birds at Owens Lake
Important Bird Areas

New opportunities for birds at Owens Lake

Audubon California is working with Eastern Sierra Audubon to take advantage of a unique opportunity to support migratory birds at Owens Lake.

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Salton Sea
Salton Sea

Securing a home for birds at the Salton Sea

Audubon California is helping secure the future of one of the state's key bird habitats.

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Tejon Ranch: Protecting a California treasure
Important Bird Areas

Protecting Tejon Ranch

After brokering a landmark agreement to safeguard huge portions of Tejon Ranch, Audubon California continues its engagement at Tejon Ranch to ensure lasting protection.

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San Joaquin River restoration
Important Bird Areas

San Joaquin River restoration

The San Joaquin River is one of the most threatened rivers in North American, and we need to bring it back to its former glory.

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San Jacinto Valley
Important Bird Areas

San Jacinto Valley conservation

Audubon California is working with local Audubon chapters and other partners to protect the San Jacinto Valley Important Bird Area, one of the most vital places for birds in the state.

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Fighting the Orange County toll road
Important Bird Areas

Fighting the Orange County toll road

Following a major victory in 2008, Audubon California is continuing to oppose an expansion of a toll road through prime bird habitat in Orange County.

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How you can help, right now