Key Biodiversity Area

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The Key Biodiversity Areas (KBA) approach helps to identify and designate areas of international importance in terms of biodiversity conservation using globally standardised criteria. KBAs extend the Important Bird Area (IBA) concept to other taxonomic groups and are now being identified in many parts of the world, by a range of organisations. Examples include Important Plant Areas (IPAs), Ecologically and Biologically Significant Areas (EBSAs) in the High Seas, Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) sites, Prime Butterfly Areas, Important Mammal Areas and Important Sites for Freshwater Biodiversity, with prototype criteria developed for freshwater molluscs and fish and for marine systems. [1] The determination of KBAs often brings sites onto the conservation agenda that hadn't previously been identified as needing protection due to the nature of the two non-exclusive criteria used to determine them; vulnerability; and irreplaceability [2]



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  1. Langhammer, Edgar et al. 'Key Biodiversity Areas as globally significant target sites for marine conservation' (Sep., 2008) Vol. 18, No. 6 Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems pp. 969-983
  2. Stattersfield, A J, et al. Endemic Bird Areas of the World. Priorities for Biodiversity Conservation (Cambridge: BirdLife International, 1998)
  3. Eken, Güven et al. Key biodiversity areas: Identifying the world's priority sites for conservation – lessons learned from Turkey The Gaps Guide: [ permanent dead link ] Accessed: 28 April 2011