Environment

Audubon declares Everglades and Biscayne Bay bird havens

Two roseate spoonbills fight over their spot in the shallows of Snake Bight in Florida Bay in Everglades National Park.
Two roseate spoonbills fight over their spot in the shallows of Snake Bight in Florida Bay in Everglades National Park. MIAMI HERALD Staff

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.

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