The National Audubon Society is recognizing Florida’s Everglades and Biscayne Bay as globally significant bird areas, a designation that elevates their role in bird conservation.
Globally Significant Important Bird Areas are measured by a set of peer-reviewed, scientific criteria and designated on a global scale. Started in Europe in the 1980s, the designation is an attempt to identify habitat considered essential to saving birds. For a site to be included, it must contain a significant population of endangered or threatened species part of the year, species with a limited range, or a large concentration of breeding, migrating or wintering birds, according to the American Bird Conservancy.
Every year, migrating songbirds and wading birds use the Everglades and bay as a critical stopover, resting and fueling up before continuing their flights. Audubon and a group called Birdlife International recognize 42 globally significant bird areas in Florida. In the U.S., only California has more with 81.