The book introduced the Endemic Bird Area (EBA) concept and argued for its use as a means of identifying important areas for the conservation of all biodiversity worldwide.
The book starts with a number of sections outlining its overall aim, scope and methods. This is followed by a global overview, which is followed in turn by regional overviews for six regions:
This is followed by a similar set of regional analyses for other groups of animals and plants. Two final sections set out recommendations for the use of EBAs in conservation priority setting, and a set of conclusions. A number of appendices give detailed data in tabular form on EBAs and their importance.
The book does not describe the individual Endemic Bird Areas in detail; a subsequent more detailed publication, Endemic Bird Areas of the World: Priorities for Biodiversity Conservation does so, however.
The book is 90 pages long. It has a foreword by Edward O. Wilson.