The island of Saint Martin is the smallest land mass in the world to be shared by two governments, and it has been this way for almost 350 years. In the northern portion of the island is St. Martin, a part of France, while the southern portion is a country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands called Sint Maarten.
There are two main protected areas on the French side of the island: the national Nature Reserve of St Martin (Reserve Naturelle, created in 1998) and an area owned by the Conservatoire du Littoral which embraces 14 pools and ponds (totaling 200 ha and including Grand Etang Important Bird Area).
The Reserve Naturelle covers 154 ha of terrestrial habitat and includes beaches, mangrove forests, and saline ponds. It also encompasses 2,796 ha of marine habitats, including those around Tintamarre Island, another Important Bird Area.
Of the 164 species of birds recorded from St. Martin, approximately 50 are Neotropical migrants. The most important habitats for the these birds are the saline ponds, mangroves, and secondary dry forest of the mountains.
Eight of the 38 Lesser Antilles restricted-range birds occur in St Martin, none of which are endemic to the island. These are the Bridled Quail-dove, Purple-throated Carib, Green-throated Carib, Antillean Crested Hummingbird, Caribbean Elaenia, Scaly-breasted Thrasher, Pearly-eyed Thrasher, and Lesser Antillean Bullfinch.