Niall Benvie, WWF


We provide here a list of publications relevant to KBA identification and their use within countries around the world.

A. Applying the KBA Standard and Criteria

A1. Tools and guidance

IUCN (2016) A Global Standard for the Identification of Key Biodiversity Areas, Version 1.0. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.

KBA Standards and Appeals Committee (2019). Guidelines for using A Global Standard for the Identification of Key Biodiversity Areas Version 1.0. Prepared by the KBA Standards and Appeals Committee of the IUCN Species Survival Commission and IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN. viii + 148pp.

A2. Examples of applying the Global Standard

Plumptre, A.J., Ayebare, S., Behangana, M., Forrest, T.G., Hatanga, P., Kabuye, C., Kirunda, B., Kityo, R., Mugabe, H., Namaganda, M., Nampindo, S., Nangendo, G., Nkuutu, D.N., Pomeroy, D., Tushabe, H. & Prinsloo, S. (2019). Conservation of vertebrates and plants in Uganda: Identifying Key Biodiversity Areas and other sites of national importance. Conservation Science and Practice,1:e7.

B. The KBA Partnership and programme

Juffe-Bignoli, D., Brooks, T. M., Butchart, S. H. M., Kingston, N., Jenkins, R. B., Boe, K., Hoffmann, M., Angulo, A., Bachman, S., Böhm, M., Brummitt, N., Carpenter, K. E., Comer, P. J., Cox, N., Cuttelod, A., Darwall, W. R. T., Di Marco, M., Fishpool, L. D. C., Goettsch, B., Heath, M., Hilton-Taylor, C., Hutton, J., Johnson, T., Joolia, A., Keith, D. A., Langhammer, P. F., Luedtke, J., Nic Lughadha, E., Lutz, M., May, I., Miller, R. M., Oliveira-Miranda, M. A., Parr, M., Pollock, C. M., Ralph, G., Rodríguez, J. P., Rondinini, C., Smart, J., Stuart, S., Symes, A., Tordoff, A. W., Woodley, S., Young, B. and Kingston, N. (2016). Assessing the cost of global biodiversity and conservation knowledge. PLoS ONE 11(8): e0160640.

Stuart, S. N., Brooks, T. M. Butchart, S. H. M., Elliott, W., Heath, M., Hoffmann, D., Honey, L., Kostadinova, I., Langhammer, P., Langrand, O., Lieberman, S., Marnewick, D., Raik, D., Rodríguez, J. P., Sechrest, W., Smart, J., Vergara, S., Woodley, S., Yanosky, A. and Zimsky, M. (2017). Clarifying the Key Biodiversity Areas Partnership and Programme. Biodiversity Conserv. 27: 791–793.

C. Monitoring and assessment of KBAs

Beresford, A.E., Donald, P.F., Buchanan, G.M. (2020). Repeatable and standardised monitoring of threats to Key Biodiversity Areas in Africa using Google Earth Engine. Ecological Indicators, 109,

BirdLife Australia (2017). KBAs in Danger: the state of Australia’s Key Biodiversity Areas in 2017. Carlton, Vic: BirdLife Australia.

Brooks, T. M., Akçakaya, H. R., Burgess, N. D., Butchart, S. H. M., Hilton-Taylor, C., Hoffmann, M., Juffe-Bignoli, D., Kingston, N., MacSharry, B., Parr, M., Perianin, L., Regan, E., Rodrigues, A. S. L., Rondinini, C., Shennan-Farpon, Y. and Young, B. E. (2016). Analysing biodiversity and conservation knowledge products to support regional environmental assessments. Sci. Data. 3: 160007.

Buchanan, G.M., Donald. P.F., Fishpool, L.D.C. Arinaitwe, J., Balman, M. and Mayaux, P. (2009). As assessment of land cover and threats to Important Bird Areas in Africa. Bird Conservation International 19: 49-61

Buchanan, G. M., Fishpool, L. D. C., Evans, M. I. and Butchart, S. H. M. (2013). Comparing field-based monitoring and remote-sensing, using deforestation from logging at Important Bird Areas as a case study. Biol. Conserv. 167: 334–338.

Butchart, S.H.M. et al. (2019) Assessing progress towards meeting major international objectives related to nature and nature’s contributions to people. Chapter 3 In Brondízio, E. S., Díaz, D. and Settele, J., eds, Global Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. Germany: Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.

Dias, M. (2017) R code for calculating protected area coverage of KBAs.

Díaz, S., Settele, J., Brondizio, E.S. et al. (2019) Pervasive human-driven decline of life on Earth points to the need for profound change. Science 366: eaax3100.

Donald, P. F., Fishpool, L. D. C., Ajagbe, A., Bennun, L. A., Bunting, G., Burfield, I. J., Butchart, S. H. M., Heath, Capellan, S., Crosby, M. J., Dias, M. P., Diaz, D., Evans, M. I., Grimmett, R., Heath, M., Jones, V., Lascelles, B. G., Merriman, J. C., O’Brien, M., Ramirez, I., Waliczky, Z. and Wege, D. C. (2018). Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs): the development and characteristics of a global inventory of key sites for biodiversity. Bird Conserv. Internat.

Hausmann, A., Toivonen, T., Fink, C., Heikinheimo, V., Tenkanen, H., Butchart, S.H.M, Brooks, T.M., & Di Minin, E. (2020) Assessing global popularity and threats to Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas using social media data, Science of the Total Environment,

Mwangi, M. A. K., Butchart, S. H. M., Barasa, F., Bennun, L. A, Evans, M. I., Fishpool, L. D. C., Kanyanya, E., Madindou, I., Machekele, J., Matiku, P., Mulwa, R., Ngari, A., Stattersfield, A. J. and Siele, J. (2010). Tracking trends in key sites for biodiversity: a case study using Important Bird Areas in Kenya. Bird Conserv. Int. 20: 215–230.

Neugarten, R. A., Langhammer, P. F., Osipova, E., Bagstad, K. J., Bhagabati, N., Butchart, S. H. M., Dudley, N., Elliott, V., Gerber, L. R., Gutierrez Arrellano, C., Ivanic, C.-Z., Kettunen, M., Mandle, L., Merriman, J. C., Mulligan, M., Peh, K. S.-H., Raudsepp-Hearne, C., Semmens, D. J., Stolton, S. and Willcock, S. (2018). Tools for measuring, modelling, and valuing ecosystem services: guidance for Key Biodiversity Areas, natural World Heritage Sites, and protected areas. IUCN Best Practice Protected Area Guidelines Series No. 28. Gland: IUCN. Available at

Pain, D. J., Fishpool, L., Byaruhanga, A., Arinaitwe, J. and Balmford, A. (2005). Biodiversity representation in Uganda’s forest IBAs. Biological Conservation 125: 133–138.

Ricketts, T. H., Dinerstein, E., Boucher, T., Brooks, T. M., Butchart, S. H. M., Hoffmann, M. Lamoreux, J. F., Morrison, J., Parr, M., Pilgrim, J. D., Rodrigues, A. S. L., Sechrest, W., Wallace, G. E., Berlin, K. Bielby, J., Burgess, N. D., Church, D. R., Cox, N., Knox, D., Loucks, C., Luck, G. W., Master, L. L., Moore, R., Naidoo, R., Ridgely, R., Schatz, G. E., Shire, G., Strand, H., Wettengel, W. and Wikramanayake, W. (2005). Pinpointing and preventing imminent extinctions. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA. 102: 18497–18501.

Tracewski, L., Butchart, S. H. M., Donald, P. F., Evans, M., Fishpool, L. D. C. and Buchanan, G. M. (2016). Twenty-first century forest loss across a global network of important sites for biodiversity. Remote Sensing Ecol. Conserv. 2: 37-44.

Tushabe, H., Kalema, J., Byaruhanga, A., Asasira, J., Ssegawa, P., Balmford, A., Davenport, T., Fjeldså, J., Friis, I., Pain, D., Pomeroy, D., Williams, P. & Williams, C. (2006). A nationwide assessment of the biodiversity value of Uganda’s Important Bird Areas network. Conservation Biology 20: 85–99.

D. Use of KBAs in policy and practice

Brauneder, K., Montes, C., Blyth, S., Bennun, L. A., Butchart, S. H. MJ., Hoffmann, M., Burgess, N. D., Cuttelod, A., Jones, M. I., Kapos, V., Pilgrim, J., Tolley, M. J., Underwood, E. C., Weatherdon, L. V., and Brooks, S. E. (2018). Identifying Critical Habitat in the terrestrial realm. PLoS ONE. 13: e0193102.

Brooks, T. M., Butchart, S. H. M., Cox, N. A., Heath, M., Hilton-Taylor, C., Hoffmann, M., Kingston, N., Rodríguez, J. P., Smart, J. and Stuart, S. (2015). Harnessing biodiversity and conservation knowledge products to track the Aichi Targets and Sustainable Development Goals. Biodiversity. 16: 157-174.

Brooks, T. M. & Matiku, P. (2011). The science-policy interface for safeguarding key biodiversity areas. Animal Conservation, 14, 111-113.

Buchanan, G. M., Parks, B. C., Donald, P. F., O’Donnell, B. F., Runfola D., Swaddle, J. P., Tracewski, L. and Butchart, S. H. M. (2018). The local impacts of World Bank development projects near sites of conservation significance. J. Environ. Development. DOI: 10.1177/1070496518785943.

Butchart, S. H. M., Brooks, T. M., Scharlemann, J. P. W and Mwangi, M. A. K. (2016). Monitoring Protected Area coverage and impact on Key Biodiversity Areas, Important Bird Areas, and Alliance for Zero Extinction sites. Pp. 211-227 in Joppa, L. N., Baillie, J. E. M. and Robinson, J., G., Protected areas: are they safeguarding biodiversity? Cambridge: Wiley-Blackwell.

Butchart, S. H. M., Clarke, M., Smith, B., Sykes, R., Scharlemann, J. P. W., Harfoot, M., Buchanan, G., Angulo, A., Balmford, A., Bertzky, B., Brooks, T. M., Carpenter, K. E., Comeros, M., Cornell, J., Ficetola, G. F., Fishpool, L. D. C., Harwell, H., Hilton-Taylor, C., Hoffmann, M., Joolia, A., Joppa, L., Kingston, N., May, I., Milam, A., Polidoro, B., Ralph, G., Richman, N., Rondinini, C., Skolnik, B., Spalding, M., Stuart, S. N., Symes, A., Taylor, J., Visconti, P. Watson, J. E. M. and Burgess, N. D. (2015). Shortfalls and solutions for meeting national and global protected area targets. Conserv. Lett. 8: 329–337.

Butchart, S. H. M., Scharlemann, J. P. W., Evans, M., Quader, S. Arinaitwe, J., Bennun, L. A., Besançon, C., Boucher, T., Bomhard, B., Brooks, T. M., Burfield, I. J., Burgess, N. D., Clay, R. P., Crosby, M. J., Davidson, N. C. De Silva, N., Devenish, C., Dutson, G. C. L., Díaz Fernández, D. F., Fishpool, L. D. C., Foster, M., Hockings, M., Hoffmann, M., Knox, D., Larsen, F., Lamoreux, J. F., Loucks, C., May, I., Millett, J. Parr, M., Skolnik, B., Upgren, A. & Woodley, S. (2012). Protecting important sites for biodiversity contributes to meeting global conservation targets. PLoS ONE 7(3): e32529.

Donald et al. (2019) The prevalence, characteristics and effectiveness of Aichi Target 11’s “other effective area-based conservation measures” (OECMs) in Key Biodiversity Areas. Conserv. Letters. DOI: 10.1111/conl.12659

Dudley, N., Boucher, J.L., Cuttelod, A., Brooks, T.M., and Langhammer, P.F., Eds. (2014). Applications of Key Biodiversity Areas: end-user consultations. Cambridge, UK and Gland, Switzerland: IUCN.

Foster, M.N., Mittermeier, R.A., Badman, T., Besancon, C., Bomhard, B., Brooks, T.M., De Silva, N., Fishpool, L., Parr, M., Radford, E. and Turner, W. (2010). Synergies between World Heritage Sites and Key Biodiversity Areas. World Heritage 56: 4–17.

Han, X., Smyth, R. L., Young, B. E., Brooks, T. M., Sánchez de Lozada, A., Butchart, S. H. M., Larsen, F. W., Rodrigues, A. S. L. and Turner, W. R. (2014). A biodiversity indicators dashboard: addressing challenges to monitoring progress towards the Aichi biodiversity targets using disaggregated global data. PloS ONE 9: e112046.

Harfoot, M., Tittensor, D., Knight, S., Arnell, A., Blyth, S, Butchart, S. H. M., Jones, M., Kapos, V., Scharlemann, J. and Burgess, N. D. (2018). Present and emerging biodiversity risk from oil and gas exploitation. Conserv. Letts. 2018: e12448.

Kukkala, A. S., Santangeli, A., Butchart, S. H. M., Maiorano, L., Ramirez, I. and Moilanen, A. (2016). Representativeness of vertebrate species distributions in Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas and Special Protection Areas in the European Union. Biol. Conserv. 202: 1–9.

Langhammer, P., Butchart, S. H. M. and Brooks, T. M. (2018). Key Biodiversity Areas. Encyclopedia of the Anthropocene.

Maxwell, J., Allen, S., Brooks, T., Cuttelod, A., Dudley, N., Fisher, J., Langhammer, P., Patenaude, G. & Woodley, S. (2018). Engaging end-users to inform the development of the global standard for the identification of key biodiversity areas. Environmental Science & Policy 89: 273–282. DOI: 10.1016/j.envsci.2018.07.019.

McCarthy, D., Donald, P. F., Scharleman, J. P. W., Buchanan, G. M., Balmford, A. P., Green, J. M. H., Bennun, L. A., Burgess, N., Fishpool, L. D. C., Garnett, S. T., Leonard, D. L., Maloney, R. F., Morling, P., Schaeffer, H. M., Symes, A., Wiedenfeld, D. A. and Butchart, S. H. M. (2012). Financial costs of meeting global biodiversity conservation targets: current spending and unmet needs. Science 338: 946-949.

Schulze, K., Knights, K., Coad, L., Geldmann, J., Leverington, F., Eassom, A., Marr, M., Butchart, S. H. M., Hockings, M., and Burgess, N. D. (2018). A global assessment of threats to the world’s terrestrial protected areas. Conserv. Letts. 2018: e12435.

Simkins, T.A., Buchanan, G.M., Davies, R.G., Donald, P.F. (2019). The implications for conservation of a major taxonomic revision of the world’s birds. Animal Conservation.

Smith, R. J., Bennun, L., Brooks, T. M., Butchart, S. H. M., Cuttelod, A., Di Marco, M., Ferrier, S., Fishpool, L. D. C., Joppa, L., Juffe-Bignoli, D., Knight, A. T., Lamoreux, J. F., Langhammer, P., Possingham, H. P., Rondinini, C., Visconti, P., Watson, J. E. M., Woodley, S., Boitani, L., Burgess, N. D., De Silva, N., Dudley, N., Fivaz, F., Game, E. T., Groves, C., Lotter, M., McGowan, J., Plumptre, A. J., Rebelo, A. G., Rodriguez, J. P. and Scaramuzza, C. A. M. (2018). Synergies between the key biodiversity area and systematic conservation planning approaches. Conserv Letts. 2018: e12625.

United Nations (2018). The Sustainable Development Goals report, 2018. [including indictors of protected area coverage of KBAs]

Visconti, P. et al. (2019) A bold successor to Aichi Target 11. Science 365: 650-651.

Visconti, P. et al. (2019) Protected area targets post-2020. Science. 364: 239-241.

Waliczky, Z., Fishpool, L. D. C., Butchart, S. H. M., Thomas, D., Heath, M., Hazin, C., Donald, P. F., Kowalska, A., and Dias, Maria, A. P. (2018). Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs): the impact of IBAs on conservation policy, advocacy and action. Bird Conserv. Internat.

E. KBAs and Climate change

Bagchi, R. Hole, D. G., Butchart, S. H. M., Collingham, Y. C., Fishpool, L. D. C., Plumptre, A. J., Owiunji, I., Mugabe, H. and Willis, S. G. (2017). Forecasting movement of endemic birds among important sites for biodiversity in the Albertine Rift under future climate change. Ecography 40: 001–012.

Bagchi, R., Crosby, M., Huntley, B., Hole, D., Collingham, Y., Butchart, S. H.M. and Willis, S. G. (2012) Evaluating the effectiveness of conservation site networks under climate change: accounting for uncertainty. Global Change Biol. 19: 1236-1248.

Hole, D. G., Huntley, B., Collingham, Y. C., Fishpool, L. D. C., Pain, D. J., Butchart, S. H. M. and Willis, S. G. (2011). Towards a management framework for protected area networks in the face of climate change. Conserv. Biol. 25: 305–315.

Hole, D. G., Huntley, B., Pain, D. J., Fishpool, L. D. C., Butchart, S. H. M., Collingham, Y. C., Rahbek, C. and Willis, S. G. (2009). Projected impacts of climate change on a continental-scale protected area network. Ecol. Lett. 12: 420-431.

Segan. D. B., Hole, D. G., Donatti, C. I., Zganjar, C., Martin, S., Butchart, S. H. M. and Watson, J. E. M. (2015). Considering the impact of climate change on human communities significantly alters the outcome of species and site-based vulnerability assessments. Diversity Distrib. 21: 991–1003.

F. KBA methods and testing criteria

Bass, D., Anderson, P. & De Silva, N. (2011). Applying thresholds to identify key biodiversity areas for marine turtles in Melanesia. Animal Conservation, 14, 1-11.

Bennun L, Bakarr M., Eken G., Da Fonseca G.A.B. (2007). Clarifying the Key Biodiversity Areas approach. BioScience: 57: 645

BirdLife International (2014). Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas: A global network for conserving nature and benefiting people. Cambridge, UK: BirdLife International.

BirdLife International (2006). Monitoring Important Bird Areas: a global framework. Cambridge, UK. BirdLife International. Version 1.2.

Boyd, C., Brooks, T.M., Butchart, S.H.M., Edgar, G.J., Fonseca, G.A.B. da, Hawkins, F., Hoffmann, M., Sechrest, W.W., Stuart, S.N. & van Dijk, P.P. (2008) Scale and the conservation of threatened species. Conservation Letters 1: 37–43. DOI: 10.1111/j.1755-263X.2008.00002.x.

Brooks, T., Balmford, A., Burgess, N., Hansen L.A., Moore, J., Rahbek, C., Williams, P., Bennun, L., Byaruhanga, A., Kasoma, P.,Njoroge, P., Pomeroy, D. & Wondafrash, M. (2001) Conservation priorities for birds and biodiversity: do East African Important Bird Areas represent species diversity in other terrestrial vertebrate groups? Ostrich 15: 3-12.

Darwall, W.R.T. & Vié, J.C., (2005). Identifying important sites for conservation of freshwater biodiversity: extending the species‐based approach. Fisheries Management and Ecology 12: 287-293.

Di Marco, M., Brooks, T., Cuttelod, A., Fishpool, L.D.C., Rondinini, C., Smith, R.J., Bennun, L., Butchart, S.H.M., Ferrier, S., Foppen, R.P.B., Joppa, L., Juffe-Bignoli, D., Knight, A.T., Lamoreux, J.F., Langhammer, P.F., May, I., Possingham, H.P., Visconti, P., Watson, J.E.M. & Woodley, S. (2016). Quantifying the relative irreplaceability of Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas. Conservation Biology 30: 392–402. DOI: 10.1111/cobi.12609.

Edgar, G. J. & Brooks, T. M. 2011. Testing absolute and percentage thresholds in the identification of key biodiversity areas. Animal Conservation, 14, 12-13.

Edgar G.J., Langhammer P.F., Allen G., Brooks T.M., Brodie J., Crosse W., Da Silva N., Fishpool L.D.C., Foster M.N., Knox D.H., McCosker, J.E., McManus, R., Miller, A.J.K. & Mugo R. (2008). Key Biodiversity Areas as globally significant target sites for marine conservation. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems. 18: 969-983.

Edgar, G.J., Banks, S., Bensted‐Smith, R., Calvopiña, M., Chiriboga, A., Garske, L.E., Henderson, S., Miller, K.A. & Salazar, S. (2008) Conservation of threatened species in the Galapagos Marine Reserve through identification and protection of marine key biodiversity areas. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 18: 955-968.

Eken, G., Bennun, L., Brooks, T.M., Darwall, W., Fishpool, L.D.C., Foster, M., Knox, D., Langhammer, P., Matiku, P., Radford, E., Salaman, P., Sechrest, W., Smith, M.L., Spector, S. & Tordoff, A. (2004). Key biodiversity areas as site conservation targets. BioScience 54: 1110-1118.

Foster, M., Brooks, T., Cuttelod, A., De Silva, N., Fishpool, L., Radford, E. & Woodley, S. (2012). The identification of sites of biodiversity conservation significance: progress with the application of a global standard. Journal of Threatened Taxa, 4, 2733-2744.

Holland, R. A., Darwall, W. R. T. & Smith, K. G. (2012). Conservation priorities for freshwater biodiversity: The Key Biodiversity Area approach refined and tested for continental Africa. Biological Conservation, 148, 167-179.

Knight, A.T., Smith, R.J., Richard, R.J., Cowling, M., Desmet, P.G., Faith, D.P., Ferrier, S., Gelderblom, C.M., Grantham, H., Lombard, A.T., Maze, K., Nel, J.L., Parrish, J.D., Pence, G.Q.K., Possingham, H.P., Reyers, B., Rouget, M., Roux, D., Wilson, K.A. (2007). Improving the Key Biodiversity Areas Approach for Effective Conservation Planning. BioScience 57: 256-261.

Langhammer, P. F., Bakarr, M. I., Bennun, L. A., Brooks, T. M., Clay, R. P., Darwall, W., De Silva, N., Edgar, G. J., Eken, G., Fishpool, L. D. C., da Fonseca, G. A. B., Foster, M. N., Knox, D. H., Matiku, P., Radford, E. A., Rodrigues, A. S. L., Salaman, P., Sechrest, W. and Tordoff, A. W. (2007). Identification and gap analysis of key biodiversity areas: targets for comprehensive protected area systems. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN (Best Practice Protected Area Guidelines Series 15).

O’Dea, N., Araújo, M.B. & Whittaker, R.J. (2006). How well do Important Bird Areas represent species and minimize conservation conflict in the tropical Andes? Diversity and Distributions 12: 205–214