Important Bird Areas Program

The IBA Program identifies and conserves key breeding areas and feeding sites for birds. An Important Bird Area is a place that provides essential habitat for one or more species of bird, whether in breeding season, winter, or during migration. These sites are considered to be exceptionally important for bird conservation. Protection of the most critical of these sites is one important approach to the protection of many bird species. Within the United States, the IBA program is part of the larger Partners in Flight program that, in turn, is part of the North American Bird Conservation Initiative. These larger programs have additional landscape and management-based approaches to bird conservation. Taken together, these approaches are designed to help ensure the survival of all bird species.

The Audubon Chapters in Georgia have undertaken the job of determining where these sites are in our state so that we may strive to protect them. In Athens, the combined properties of the State Botanical Garden of Georgia and Whitehall Forest are our own local Important Bird Area.

Georgia's Important Areas Program Coordinator, Charlie Muise, works across the state with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Georgia's multiple Audubon Societies, and many non-profit groups to conserve birds both within and outside Georgia's Important Bird Areas.  Charlie also runs two bird banding stations at Joe Kurz Wildlife Management Area and Panola State Park, examining the long-term effects of native grassland restoration on bird communities.

Would you like to become involved in on-the-ground, bird-in-your-hand conservation efforts?  Charlie needs volunteers to assist with native grass seed collection, bird banding, radiotelemetry, prescribed fire, fixing bird nets and making bird bags, and many other projects. 

Please contact Charlie Muise,, for more information. Visit our Calendar to see Charlie's bird banding dates. The Georgia IBA project is extremely productive and efficient but is underfunded and would benefit greatly from donations, either through direct monetary donations or volunteer time. ORAS donates funds to this vital program annually.  If you would like to contribute, please contact Charlie for more information.


Don't forget to Like or Subscribe to the Georgia IBA Program's Facebook page! Go here to stay updated with what's happening: Georgia IBA Facebook.

Also, be sure to check out the Georgia's IBA's website.