While many bird species are widespread, over 2,500 are endemic and restricted to an area smaller than 5 million hectares (restricted-range species). BirdLife International has mapped every restricted-range species using geo-referenced locality records. Through this process, they identified regions of the world—known as “Endemic Bird Areas” (EBAs)—where the distributions of two or more of these species overlap. Half of all restricted-range species are globally threatened or near-threatened, and the other half remain vulnerable to loss or degradation of habitat. The majority of EBAs are also important for the conservation of restricted-range species from other animal and plant groups. The unique landscapes where these bird species occur, amounting to just 4.5% of the earth's land surface, are high priorities for broad-scale ecosystem conservation. Geographically, EBAs are often islands or mountain ranges, and vary considerably in size, from a few hundred hectares to more than 10,000,000 hectares. EBAs also vary in the number of restricted-range species that they support (from two to 80). EBAs are found around the world, but most (77%) of them are located in the tropics and subtropics.

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