The IBA Program was initiated in the 1980s by BirdLife International, a global alliance of non-government, grassroots, and membership-based groups in 170 countries and territories. The Canadian co‐partners in BirdLife International are Bird Studies Canada and Nature Canada, represented in Manitoba by Nature Manitoba.

Many of Manitoba’s IBAs lack any formal protection, making the active involvement of local communities, landowners, individuals and organizations critical to ensure the conservation of these special places for birds and biodiversity.

How you can get involved!

The IBA Caretaker program is a volunteer-based, citizen-science bird and habitat monitoring program for designated Important Bird Areas in Manitoba and across Canada.

This program offers everyone – from amateur naturalists to professional biologists – a unique and rewarding opportunity to contribute locally to a global bird conservation effort! In Manitoba, there are several ways that you can get involved. These are:

IBA Site Caretakers – Site Caretakers are the eyes, ears and hands on the ground whose top priorities are conducting bird counts and monitoring habitat at their local IBA. This is a site-specific role best suited to a volunteer or group of volunteers who live in close proximity to the IBA and can visit the IBA with some frequency.

IBA Monitors – IBA Monitors are roving citizen scientists who would like the flexibility to observe and count birds in different IBAs throughout migration and breeding seasons.

Bird Blitz Volunteers – A “Bird Blitz” is a short (usually one day) community-focused bird survey that brings together citizen scientists to help determine what species of birds reside in a specific area, and in what abundances.

International Shorebird Survey (ISS) Volunteers – The International Shorebird Survey takes places each spring and fall migration season with routes at four IBAs across Manitoba. Volunteers follow pre-set routes counting shorebirds (and other birds they may find). Volunteers may chose to run one route, or many! Training and equipment (such as a spotting scope) are available from Manitoba IBA.

Please contact Marissa Berard, IBA Coordinator at 204-943-9029 or email iba@naturemanitoba.ca for more information.