Audubon Society designates Canyonlands area as ‘Globally Important Bird Area’
Jan 23, 2014 | 2875 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The National Audubon Society has named the Canyonlands area a “Globally Important Bird Area.” The designation was announced last month by the Utah Important Bird Areas (IBA) program, which operates under the auspices of the Audubon Society.

“The Canyonlands area is known worldwide for its many recreational opportunities and expansive scenic views,” said Mark Miller, chief of Resource Stewardship and Science for the National Park Service’s Southeast Utah Group “This special recognition by the National Audubon Society now brings significant attention to the fact that this striking area also is tremendously important as habitat for a diversity of wildlife including Mexican spotted owls and a large number of other bird species.”

The Canyonlands area joins 21 other IBAs that have been recognized to date, according to a news release from the Audubon Society. Designated IBAs are sites that “provide essential habitat for one or more species of bird,” and meet criteria established by Utah’s IBA Technical Team, according to the news release.

“The IBA program is an excellent way to identify critical areas for birds across the world and in Utah,” said John Bellmon, chairman of the Audubon Council of Utah and chairman of Utah’s IBA Technical Team. “The inclusion of specific properties grants no management authority nor enables any landowner restrictions from the IBA program. But by working cooperatively with landowners, the hope is that the areas can continue to be monitored and conserved for the future.”

The Canyonlands Area IBA covers habitat considered critical to the the Mexican Spotted Owl recovery plan, including all of Canyonlands National Park, the northern portion of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, the portion of the Manti-La Sal National Forest south of Canyonlands National Park, Bureau of Land Management lands supervised by the Monticello Field Office and the Henry Mountain Field Station. The IBA includes an area that is approximately 1,430,472 acres in size. It does not include any private lands or state School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration lands, according to the news release.

Audubon officials said the Canyonlands area was selected primarily due to the numbers of Mexican spotted owls found through bird surveys in the area. The Canyonlands area is one of only four IBAs in Utah and Arizona that have been identified as a Global IBA for spotted owl, according to the news release.

Approximately 200 bird species are confirmed as having been seen in Canyonlands National Park, according to the news release.

Additional information about IBA sites is available at

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