Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas
Taiwan is a land rich in avian biodiversity. Located at the intersection of East and Southeast Asia and positioned at a central point along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway, over 700 species of both migratory and resident birds can be seen on Taiwan proper and its outlying islands. Included in that number are a total of 27 endemics and 56 endemic subspecies.
To better protect the critical habitat of Taiwan’s bird species, in 2000 the Taiwan Wild Bird Federation, in conjunction with its 21 local partner organizations and other conservation groups, drafted a successful proposal to create 53 Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs). Ultimately successful Taiwan is now home to 54 IBAs. The TWBF is working to propose two new IBAs by the end of 2018. This would bring the total number to 56 and cover 1/5 of Taiwan’s area.
The purpose of IBAs is to promote the importance of habitat conservation by using birds as indicators of biodiversity. In the case of resident birds, this designation can lead to regional area protections. For migratory species, coordinated efforts extending beyond borders are needed. This not only helps establish comprehensive conservation networks necessary to maintaining the migratory routes, it also fosters international collaboration.