ASPB administers the national Important Bird Areas (IBA) programme in Armenia since 2002. From that point onward, it has been involved in the conservation of birds and the habitats important for them, working with BirdLife International and its partner organizations in the Caucasus and Europe on a number of conservation programs. Internationally, ASPB has received support from BirdLife on the Important Bird Areas Program, and has identified 18 potential IBAs in Armenia and contributed to development of the CEPF Caucasus profile. An IBA inventory is developed and the online database is being updated. In 2005 BirdLife International launched a large international project Development of an IBA Caretaker Network in the Caucasus funded by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) which spanned 5 Caucasian countries. The initiative allowed ASPB to establish a national network of local “IBA Caretakers” to deliver conservation goals at site level. The network is already in place and “caretakers” monitor the sites to report on their annual findings.
ASPB is a young organization but staffed with dedicated professionals of various biological disciplines, holding a wide expertise in international conservation efforts. It has extensive skills in recruiting volunteers for field work, surveying wildlife, trapping, handling and telemetering large birds. Some of the conservation works undertaken alone and in partnership with other organizations include the long-term Mid-winter Waterbird Counts (IWC), studies and protection of endangered Cinereous Vulture, survey and satellite tagging of Griffon vultures, and studies of Lesser Kestrel in Armenia. ASPB contributed data on the status and trends of Armenia’s birds to BirdLife’s second review of the conservation status of wild birds in Europe.
ASPB has established strong collaborative links with the government, both with the relevant ministries and their regional departments across country. It has strong relations with the RA Ministry of Nature Protection, National Academy of Sciences and was called upon by the Ministry of Agriculture to carry out national Avian Influenza surveillance in Armenia. It is consulted by leading donor organizations (WB, UNDP) on this issue.
ASPB works independently and in cooperation with local NGO network and scientific institutions to take on the ground conservation actions.