The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) recently announced the establishment of five Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in the state. The project, in partnership with Audubon Connecticut and others, will boost efforts to protect Connecticut’s bird species.
DEEP Commissioner Robert Klee said, “We have long recognized the value of IBAs as a tool for conservation of imperiled bird species across Connecticut. Establishing these five sites with Audubon Connecticut and building public recognition of their value will help us preserve the habitats these sites provide and the bird species that depend on them.”
The identification of these five sites was approved by a technical committee of Audubon Connecticut, and endorsed by DEEP’s Important Bird Area Advisory Committee.
Establishment of the sites is the result of a partnership between DEEP, Audubon Connecticut, other conservation NGO’s, and private landowners who are working together to protect, restore, enhance, and increase awareness about these critical areas.
The goal of Audubon Connecticut’s IBA program is to identify a network of key areas in the state that support sustainable populations of birds in greatest need of conservation. For official recognition as an IBA, the site must meet one or more of a set of standardized scientific criteria that were developed by a committee of bird experts from throughout the state.
Once an area is identified as an IBA, Audubon Connecticut works with the land owner, other conservation partners, and the public to increase awareness about birds and the importance of the area to greatest conservation need species, improve habitat in the area, and find funding to support these efforts.
Connecticut landscape level IBAs:
Mouth of the CT River
This area is located in Old Lyme and Old Saybrook. It includes the Roger Tory Peterson Wildlife Management Area and the Ragged Rock Creek Wildlife Management Area.
Lyme Forest Block
This area includes lands in several towns within Middlesex and New London Counties. Among state lands in this IBA are: Devil’s Hopyard State Park, Babcock Pond Wildlife Management Area, Zemko Pond Wildlife Management Area, Eightmile River Wildlife Management Area, Nehantic State Forest, Seldon Neck State Park, and Beckett Hill State Park.
Macedonia Forest Block
This area is located in Kent and Sharon. It includes Audubon Sharon and Macedonia Brook State Park.
Meshomasic Forest Block
This area covers lands in Hartford and Middlesex County, including Meshomasic State Forest and Gay City State Park.
Miles Wildlife Sanctuary and Housatonic State Forest Block
This area is located in Sharon and Lakeville, and includes Housatonic State Forest and the Audubon Miles Wildlife Sanctuary.
source: Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection