Paul Sullivan launches Key Biodiversity Areas (KBA) Campaign.

This week after months of sweat and tears we launched our campaign on Key Biodiversity Areas, the campaign aims to raise awareness for our most important places and our most threatened birds. Paul launched the KBA Campaign in the Carlton office on Tuesday, see this link to hear more.

Below you will find 10 facts and actions to be informed and act for KBAs. 


Ten facts about KBAs in a post-factual world

Fact #1

Over 300 of our IBAs (Important Bird & Biodiversity Areas) also meet the new global criteria to immediately be recognised as Key Biodiversity Areas (KBA). More than 1,000 EPBC listed taxa other than birds are also found in KBAs. In fact, Australia’s KBA network covers almost two-thirds of all threatened Australian species.

Act #1

From surveying the Endangered Carpentarian Grasswren at Boodjamulla, to satellite tracking shorebirds from Roebuck Bay, and from advocating for Australia’s next international bird sanctuary at Moolap, to the captive release of Regent Honeyeaters at Chiltern - KBAs intersect with every aspect of our work.

A small, but very powerful way we can promote the concept of KBAs is by embedding the language in everything we do. Whether it’s grant applications, government reports, conversations with supporters or presentations to the public, any time we describe the geography of our work, we should reference the KBAs that intersect with it! The international significance of KBAs adds extra weight to the importance of the work we’re doing to save threatened birds in these places. As the leader on KBAs in Australia, BirdLife can capitalise on this international support for conserving these areas as well as the birds that inhabit them.

The first step to embedding the KBA language is obviously to figure out what aspects of your work intersects with KBAs. We’re currently in the process of pulling together a bunch of collateral to support this, but in the meantime you can check out the global KBA map here or transition page on our website


Fact #2

More than 80% of Australians live within 50kms of a KBA (as the crow flies). In fact, 46 of the top 50 towns and cities are within this range – only Alice Springs (350 km), Kalgoorlie (100km), Bundaberg (75km), Geraldton (75km) are the exceptions.

Act #2

Give to support the KBA Program – A fundamental component of our cross-organisation effort will be fundraising for KBAs. In fact, this is the theme of our tax appeal! Help us empower supporters to get behind KBA’s (and the important work we do in them) by giving what they can. For some this is time, but for many others, giving is their only opportunity to be involved. This important work can only be achieved with the generous support of donors – so let’s help them to do that!  


Fact #3

Half of our KBAs had birdata surveys done at least once in the last year. 205 of 315 Australian KBAs had standardised bird surveys undertaken in the last 3 years.

Act #3

Encourage monitoring in KBAs – One of the goals of the campaign is to increase the data available in KBAs to assess the species that depend on them. Help us achieve this by encouraging supporters and volunteers to conduct standardised surveys using our new birdata app or by setting up shared sites in KBAs.


Fact #4

Eight of Tourism Australia’s Top Ten Nature destinations overlap with KBAs. These are Prince Regent and Mitchell River (Kimberley WA), North-West Tasmanian Coast (TAS), Otway Range (VIC), Daintree (QLD), Flinders Ranges (SA), Alligator Rivers Floodplains (Kakadu NT), Michaelmas Cay (Great Barrier Reef QLD) and Kangaroo Island (SA).

Act #4

Visit a KBA – As part of the campaign we are developing a series of tourist-style information brochures featuring KBAs within 100km of Australian capital cities (like the example attached) to encourage people to visit them. In the coming two weeks we will let you know how you can help us promote and distribute with people or organisations you think might also like to use them.


Fact #5

Excluding birdata, BirdLife Australia projects have been active in 102 of 315 KBAs (or 32%). Most species or group specific BirdLife projects work in 50% or more of the KBAs that have been designated for that species e.g. Shorebirds or Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoos.

Act #5

Recommend a KBA Guardian – There are over 200 KBAs in Australia still in need of a guardian. Do you know a great volunteer who might like to step up? They don’t need to be a birdo, the best guardians are locals that understand ecology and the (human) community. Recommend they become a KBA Guardian – the commitment is only a few hours per year! Please put them in touch with Golo -


Fact #6

Currently 25 KBAs (7.6%) overlap with Indigenous Protected Areas (IPAs) cared for by Indigenous Rangers and funded by the Commonwealth Government. However, Indigenous groups are active in many more KBAs.

Act #6

Talk to local groups – Help us spread the word about KBAs by talking to others you work with. It could be Landcare, Field Naturalists, Traditional Owners or a CMA. Whomever it is, if they work on the ground in a KBA, we want them to know what KBAs are, why they are important and how they too can get involved.


Fact #7

Since the declaration of KBAs in 2009 (then Important Bird Areas, IBAs) 1,000 new protected areas have been declared in Australia. More than half (521) have been declared in or directly adjacent to KBAs.

Act #7

Advocate for KBAs – aside from collecting birdata or becoming a Guardian, the best way our supporters can get involved in the KBA Program is by advocating locally for better management and protection. Many KBA’s span both private and public land, so effective land management (and relationships with those who manage it) is our best opportunity to ensure the values of our most important places are maintained. Supporters can get involved in local efforts like campaigns to protect mudflats at Moreton May or advocate for Australia’s second International Bird Sanctuary at Moolap.


Fact #8

There is no KBA yet for Australian Painted Snipe or Coxen’s Fig parrot – all other IUCN threatened species are captured within the KBA network.

Act #8

Buy a pin to support KBAs – hot off the press today, our newest addition to the BirdLife Australia Pin range is the Abbott’s Booby! This is one of our headline species for the KBA in Danger campaign. Another way supporters can get behind our work is to buy this and the other four pins that will be used as flagship species for the 5 KBAs identified as ‘in Danger’ along with the attached informational postcard.


Fact #9

BirdLife Australia is one of the first Birdlife International partner organisations to formally adopt the KBA concept and our work is followed with great interest and support.

Act #9

Run your next event at a KBA – Planning a bird survey, workshop or outing? Check out what KBAs are in the area and see if it is (or could be!) located within a KBA. If you’re already planning an event of any kind, let us know so we can share it with others throughout the campaign. Cross-check your current list of events with a KBA map. You might be surprised how many of your events are already happening within KBAs!


Fact #10

In Australia, 19 KBAs (6%) are considered ‘in Danger’ because they have been assessed as at very high risk of losing the threatened birds they were declared for.

Act #10

Share the upcoming KBA in Danger report – You may remember back in 2014, BirdLife Australia released a report highlighting five of IBAs 'in danger' of losing the biodiversity values that make them important. This year we’re updating this report by introducing the concept of KBAs and identifying 5 new KBAs in danger. This is expected to go to print in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for its national launch and feel free to share with your networks!