Delineation of KBAs
Delineation is the process of defining the geographic boundaries of a KBA and is a required step in the KBA identification process. The aim is to derive site boundaries that are ecologically relevant yet practical for management, but no specific management prescription is implied by the delineation of KBA boundaries. These boundaries define the location and extent of the sites that provide the best conditions for the persistence of the biodiversity elements for which the site is important. They reflect the ecological requirements and the socio-cultural, economic and management context, within the constraint that the final delineated site meets the threshold for at least one KBA criterion. Stakeholder consultation and involvement is an essential element of the delineation process.
Delineation is an iterative process that typically involves mapping the distribution of trigger biodiversity elements and deriving initial boundaries based on ecological data, refining ecological boundaries to yield practical KBA boundaries, and documenting delineation (see the Documentation and Mapping Standards in the KBA Proposal Process v 1.1). Importantly, KBAs should not overlap, so it is important to assess whether there are any existing KBAs at a location when starting the process of delineating a site.
Guidance on how to go about delineating a site is given in the KBA Guidelines.