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Geographic distribution of the Puerto Rican Nightjar: a patch occupancy approach


October 2008 - September 2009


The Puerto Rican Nightjar (Caprimulgus noctitherus) is a single-island endemic species more commonly found in coastal dry forests and lower montane forests of southwestern Puerto Rico. The nightjar is currently listed as endangered throughout its range. Over the last decade a number of new locality records have been obtained for the nightjar. We selected sites throughout southern Puerto Rico and used recordings of singing nightjars to determine presence or absence. We used a single-species and single-season occupancy model to assess nightjar presence and identify important sites across southern Puerto Rico. Nightjar presence was detected in 12 of 18 municipalities surveyed. Nightjars were detected in a number of new localities. Government agencies and conservation organizations on the island must intensify their efforts to insure protection of nightjar habitat in privately owned lands. Improved estimates of occupancy as well as estimates of area of nightjar habitat under private ownership are needed.

Research Products and Activities

Technical Publications

  • Vilella, F. J., and R. González. 2009. Geographic distribution of the Puerto Rican Nightjar: a patch occupancy approach. Final Report, Cooperative Agreement No. 011406-001, USGS Biological Resources Division, Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. Mississippi State, MS. 23 pp.

Current Staff

Federal Staff: 95

Masters Students: 239

Phd Students: 142

Post Docs: 53

University Staff: 240

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 701

Scientific Publications: 1936

Presentations: 4260




Cooperative Research Units Program Headquarters Cooperators

  1. U.S. Geological Survey