Caribbean Bird Conservation

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Nearly 120 bird species that breed in North America migrate annually to the Caribbean. Migratory birds represent a living link that connects northern breeding habitats with southern wintering grounds.

Caribbean islands also host a diverse resident avifauna, including 148 species the exist nowhere else on the planet. Yet growing human populations and habitat loss threaten the region's unique wildlife. Perhaps the most threatened habitat in the Caribbean is mountain forest, winter home to Bicknell's Thrush. This songbird, which breeds in the montane forests of the Northeast, has been a focus for VCE biologists for over two decades. Over time, our work has expanded to include a suite of at-risk wildlife throughout Hispaniola.

Montane Forest Bird Research and Conservation

Montane forests support a unique assemblage of birds, including some of the region’s most rare and threatened endemics. These forests are also the preferred winter habitat of Bicknell’s Thrush, and they harbor large populations of other North American migrants like Ovenbird and Black-throated Blue Warbler. Conservationists consider montane forests to be among the most at-risk habitats, as decades of deforestation have taken a heavy toll. Learn more »

Rapid Conservation Assessments

We send our scientists on short expeditions into potentially imperiled and ​important field sites to evaluate the state of the forested ecosystems. These rapid assessments provide scientific information that can guide effective decision making about immediate conservation concerns. Learn more »

Building a Conservation Foundation

Training of our local partners in the Dominican Republic and Haiti is among the most important facets of VCE’s overall conservation program there. For over two decades, we have worked closely with local biologists, students, and bird watchers, helping to build their capacity in becoming ecological stewards of the island's unique biodiversity. Learn more »

Conservation Action

From developing endangered species conservation plans to protecting and restoring habitat on the ground, VCE is working with partners to plan, implement, and then measure the success of conservation actions based on the best available science. Learn more »
bicknell's thrush

International Bicknell's Thrush Conservation Group

In response to heightened conservation concerns for Bicknell’s Thrush, a coalition of scientists and natural resource managers met during the fall of 2007. The group’s overall charge is to develop and implement a Conservation Action Plan for Bicknell’s Thrush, which was finalized and released in 2010. Visit the IBTCG site »

eBird Caribbean

We’ve partnered with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Birds Caribbean to bring eBird, a real-time, online bird checklist program, to the Caribbean. eBird has revolutionized the way that the birding community reports and accesses information about birds. In time, these data will become the foundation for a better understanding of bird distribution across the Caribbean and beyond. Visit eBird Caribbean »