By Kathleen Wood
Abstract The UK Overseas Territory of Turks and Caicos Islands in the West Indies is home to 58 native breeding species. Of these, six are range-restricted species and include two endemic subspecies: Thick-billed Vireo Vireo crassirostris stalagmium and Greater Antillean Bullfinch Loxigilla violacea ofella. The islands are also home to regionally important breeding colonies of gulls, terns and other seabirds, and support populations of the Vulnerable West Indian Whistling Duck Dendrocygna arborea and Near Threatened Reddish Egret Egretta rufescens. A further 110 species regularly occur as passage migrants or winter visitors, of which wintering numbers of the Near Threatened Piping Plover Charadrius melodus are of particular importance. Nine IBAs extending to 247,142 ha incorporate a diverse range of habitats and form the largest protected areas network in the West Indies. Threats to the islands, and in particular to the IBAs, including the impact of alien invasive species, tourism and tropical cyclones, are discussed.
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