The Caribbean is one of the most important of the world’s biodiversity hotspots, supporting nearly 8,000 endemic species. Based on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Red List, more than 45 extinctions have been recorded. Caribbean seabird populations have been especially hard hit, declining by up to 90% in the last two centuries.
Invasive vertebrates on seabird breeding islands have played a large role in this decline. Although protecting biodiversity by removing invasive species has strong global support and a high probability of success, it is underutilized in this region. Limited support for conservation, a lack of regional planning and limited experience on how to “mitigate” invasive vertebrate threats contribute to the problem. Thus, there is tremendous conservation potential in the Caribbean; realizing the full potential will require building regional knowledge, setting priorities and building capacity to undertake conservation actions.
NFWF's Caribbean Seabird Program supports conservation actions that address invasive animal threats for focal species in priority regions. It will strategically invest in building capacity to conduct seabird conservation throughout the Caribbean. The overarching goals of the program are to increase the baseline capacity of conservation professionals in the region and to reverse population declines of priority species through the removal of invasive animals.
Priority areas of funding for the Caribbean Seabird Program include:
- Removal of invasive animals from breeding islands
Focal areas: Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Navassa, Anguilla and Guadalupe
Focal species: Audubon’s Shearwater, Black-capped Petrel, Bridled Tern, Red-billed Tropicbird and White-tailed Tropicbird
- Building capacity to plan, implement and administer seabird conservation programs in the Caribbean.