EPIC has created one of the few long-term records about bird populations in the Caribbean on Sint Maarten/Saint Martin through wetland bird monitoring during 2000-2018. The data showed that changes in habitat over the past decade, including the loss of habitat due to development as well as the enhancement of habitat through reforestation, has contributed to notable trends in local bird populations. Most notable was the downward trend of small-bodied wintering shorebirds such as Least Sandpipers and Semi-palmated Plovers. Over the ten years of research, the most common bird species encountered at wetlands included Black-necked Stilt, Snowy Egret, Cattle Egret, Great Egret, Common Moorhen, Blue-winged Teal, Ruddy Duck and White-cheeked Pintail.
In 2012, volunteers monitored Least Tern and Wilson’s Plover nests on St. Maarten. Unfortunately, none of the monitored birds successfully raised a chick. EPIC is working to address threats to these ground nesting birds, such as predation by invasive predators and damage from off-road vehicles.
This historic research resulted in numerous published papers and the data has been used to identify internationally recognized Important Bird Areas and advocate for the protection of threatened areas. It contributed to the designation of Mullet Pond as a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance and illuminates the importance of wetlands, especially ponds, on Sint Maarten/Saint Martin.