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Term Avifauna

Group of species of birds confined to a particular territory or period of time. The avifauna of the coastal marine environment in the Dominican Republic can be divided into two main groups: seabirds and shore birds. Seabirds belong to the order Procellariforme and shore birds to the orders Pelicaniformes and Caradriformes.  

Seabirds have been protected since 1931 through Hunting Act 85 (Ley de Caza número 85), which permanently prohibited the hunting of gannets, earwigs, flamingos, night herons, and kingfishers because “hunting them constitutes a cruelty”. In addition, they established closed seasons for various species of herons, ducks, yaguazas (Dendrocygna), etc. A precise identification of species did not exist.

By 1978, some 22 species of marine and coastal birds were protected and could not be hunted during any season, and in 1980, Decree 214 declared that all wild birds were protected, with the exception of some species of ducks, coots, and doves, which can be hunted in predetermined numbers and only during certain seasons.

In 1987, the Dominican Republic joined the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES), an initiative that strengthens the protection of endangered species. The increase in protected coastal areas, such as scientific reserves, national parks and sanctuaries, established in recent years, also increased the number of protected sites.

Currently, there are 306 species of birds recorded in the Hispaniola, of which 31 are endemic at a species level. Close to 50% of the endemic birds are considered endangered, some are critically endangered.1 Table A-5 offers a list of the Hispaniola’s threatened endemic birds, with their corresponding state of preservation, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN).

1Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales; UASD (Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo); PNUMA (Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Medio Ambiente). Informe GEO Republica Dominicana 2010: Estado y Perspectivas del Medio Ambiente [en línea]; PNUMA: Santo Domingo, D.N., 2010. <> (Consulta: 13 enero 2011).

Additional Information
TableThreatened endemic bird species in the Hispaniola
Topic  BiodiversityProtected areas