The Caribbean is one of the top six of the 25 global biodiversity conservation hotspots. These islands support populations of endemic plants and vertebrates amounting to at least 2% of the world's total species complement.
Birds are a relatively well-known group of species within the Caribbean, and offer an excellent starting point for objective biodiversity conservation prioritization and planning. They are also the most tangible and visible non-marine life forms within the islands and thus the most meaningful biodiversity component at the local level.
Over 560 species of birds, have been recorded in the Caribbean; 148 of these are endemic. Of these regional endemics, 105 species are confined to single islands. More than 120 species migrate from their breeding grounds in North America to winter in the Caribbean. The Caribbean is the most important (and sometimes exclusive), wintering ground for a number of North American species. It is also the only wintering ground for globally threatened migrants.
Due to increasing pressure from an expanding human population, islands throughout the region face the continuing erosion of pristine habitats. This is the problem of invasive alien species, hunting, illegal trade and more. As a result, over 10% of the region’s birds are considered globally threatened.