Although some 57% of the 1,230 Important Bird Areas in Africa benefit from some form of formal protection, 525 do not and, as a result, 44 globally threatened birds are entirely unprotected.
The majority of Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in Africa (57% of 1,230 sites) overlap to some extent with some kind of protected area. In principle at least, they are therefore partly or wholly covered by conservation management provisions that aim to protect the sites’ natural values and prevent unsustainable uses such as large-scale deforestation, over-hunting and over-fishing. Nevertheless, 43% of IBAs in Africa (525 sites) have no such protection or recognition of their natural values. This leaves 44 globally threatened birds—20% of the total number in Africa—lacking protection at any of the sites where they regularly occur (see figure; analysis of data held in BirdLife’s World Bird Database 2004). Capturing the unprotected globally threatened birds within Africa’s protected-area networks is a high conservation priority.
BirdLife International (2004) Many African IBAs, including those holding threatened birds, have no legal recognition or protection. Presented as part of the BirdLife State of the world's birds website. Available from: http://birdlife.org/datazone/sowb/casestudy/242. Checked: 21/04/2014
|Key message: Protected area networks are vital for conservation, but have many gaps|