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Agriculture and forestry are key drivers of habitat destruction in IBAs

Intensive Farming, © BirdLife International

In Africa, habitat clearance for agriculture and logging threatens 50% and 23% of Important Birds and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) respectively. In Europe, agricultural expansion and intensification are among the most serious threats affecting IBAs.


Proportion of IBAs impacted by different classes of threats in Africa and Europe

Analysis of data held in BirdLife’s World Bird Database (2004)

In Africa, habitat clearance for agriculture threatens over 50% of Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs), with degradation owing to shifting agriculture an additional pressure (Fishpool and Evans 2001). In Europe too, agricultural expansion and intensification are among the most serious threats affecting IBAs, with a high impact at 35% (Heath and Evans 2000). In Africa, selective logging or tree-cutting affects 23% of IBAs, with degradation owing to firewood collection (including charcoal production) and forest grazing being additional, often related pressures (these threats are of less importance in Europe where little old-growth forest remains). In Africa, ongoing or planned infrastructure development (including dam and road building) is a further key cause of habitat destruction, with 21% of IBAs affected. In Europe this is also a major factor affecting IBAs, with a high impact at 37% (see figure).



Related Case Studies in other sections

References

Fishpool, L. D. C. and Evans, M. I., eds (2001) Important Bird Areas in Africa and associated islands: priority sites for conservation. Newbury and Cambridge, UK: Pisces Publications and BirdLife International.
 
Heath, M. F. and Evans, M. I., eds (2000) Important Bird Areas in Europe: priority sites for conservation. Cambridge, UK: BirdLife International.

Compiled 2004

Recommended Citation:
BirdLife International (2004) Agriculture and forestry are key drivers of habitat destruction in IBAs. Presented as part of the BirdLife State of the world's birds website. Available from: http://birdlife.org/datazone/sowb/casestudy/123. Checked: 31/10/2014