Complementary areas for conserving avian diversity on Hispaniola


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Hispaniola has been identified as a global priority for avian conservation. However, little quantitative information has been available to help guide optimal strategies for conservation action on the island. Here, the first broad-scale look has been assembled of the distribution of species of conservation concern among protected areas in Haiti and the Dominican Republic and their occurrences have been analysed to determine where conservation activities might be focused to serve avian conservation interests. An iterative, heuristic complementarity approach was used, such that the most highly ranked reserve is that which protects the greatest number of species of conservation concern and subsequently ranked reserves are those that add the most species of conservation concern that are not included in the first reserve. Parks are prioritised by the presence/absence of species of concern and prioritised a second time with individual species first being weighted by species-specific extinction risks and then by uniqueness in terms of endemism at the island or regional level. Parks of highest importance are the Sierra de Bahoruco National Park and Jaragua National Park, but the importance of other protected areas to avian conservation is also documented and discussed.