Cooperative Research Units
Education, Research And Technical Assistance For Managing Our Natural Resources
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Dr. Francisco Vilella

Research Publications

  • Strickland, B.A., F.J. Vilella, and R. Flynt. 2018. Long-term spotlight surveys of American alligators in Mississippi, USA. Herpetological Conservation and Biology 13(2):331-340. Abstract |  Download  | 
  • Calamari, N. C., F. J. Vilella, and P. A. Mercuri. 2018. Patch and landscape responses of bird abundance to fragmentation in agroecosystems of east-central Argentina. Avian Conservation and Ecology 13 (2):
  • Vilella, F. J. 2018. Wildlife Policy and Law in South America. Pages 519-533 in Leopold, B.D., W.B. Kessler and J.L. Cummins (eds.). North American Wildlife Policy and Law. Boone and Crockett Club, Missoula, MT.
  • Loman, Z.G., A.P. Monroe, S.K. Riffell, D.A. Miller, F.J. Vilella, B.E. Wheat, S.A. Rush, and J.A. Martin. 2018. Nest Survival Modeling Using A Multi-Species Approach In Forests Managed For Timber And Biofuel Feedstock. Journal of Applied Ecology 55(2):937-946 10.1111/1365-2664.13015
    Abstract | 
  • Gallardo, J.C., and F.J. Vilella. 2017. Conservation status assessment of an endangered insular raptor: the Sharp-shinned Hawk in Puerto Rico. Journal of Field Ornithology 88(4):349-361. DOI: 10.1111/jofo.12228
  • Davis, J.B., F.J. Vilella, J.D. Lancaster, M. López-Flores, R.M. Kaminski, and J.A. Cruz-Burgos. Survival of White-cheeked Pintail ducklings and broods in Puerto Rico. The Condor: Ornithological Applications 119(2):308-320 Abstract | 
  • Palumbo, M.D., J.P. Fleming, O.A. Monsegur and F.J. Vilella. 2016. A GIS Model of Habitat Suitability for Solanum conocarpum (Solanaceae) in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands. Caribbean Naturalist 36:1-10. Abstract | 
  • Strickland B.A., Vilella F.J., Belant J.L. 2016. Scale-Dependent Habitat Selection and Size-Based Dominance in Adult Male American Alligators. PLoS
    One 11(9): e0161814. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0161814
  • Feaga, J.S., F.J. Vilella, R.M. Kaminski and J.B. Davis. 2015. Waterbird use of catfish ponds and Migratory Bird Habitat Initiative wetlands in Mississippi. Waterbirds 38(3):269-281. Abstract | 
  • Davis, J.B., L. Webb, R.M. Kaminski, P.J. Barbour, and F.J. Vilella. 2014. Comprehensive Framework for Ecological assessment of the Migratory Bird Habitat Initiative following the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Southeastern Naturalist 13(4): G66-G81. Abstract | 
  • Wood, D.R., L.W. Burger, and F.J. Vilella. 2014. Red-cockaded Woodpecker Picoides borealis Microhabitat Characteristics and Reproductive Success in a Loblolly-Shortleaf Pine Forest. The Open Ornithology Journal 7: 49-54. DOI: 10.2174/1874453201407010049
  • Blanco-Rodriguez, P., F.J. Vilella, and B. Sanchez-Orla. 2014. Waterfowl in Cuba: current status and distribution. Wildfowl Special Issue 4: 498-511. Abstract | 
  • Gallardo, J.C., and F.J. Vilella. 2014. The Puerto Rican Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus vennator): an endangered insular species on the edge. Spizaetus: Neotropical Raptor Network Newsletter 17:2-13.
  • Palumbo, M. D., F. J. Vilella, G. Wang, B. K. Strickland, and D. Godwin. 2014. Brood surveys and hunter observations used to predict gobbling activity wild turkeys in Mississippi. Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management 5(1):151-156.
    Abstract |  Download  | 
  • Loman, Z. G., S. K. Riffell, B. R. Wheat, D. A. Miller, J. A. Martin, and F. J. Vilella. 2014 Bird community response to establishing intercropped switchgrass in intensively-managed pine stands. Global Change Biology Bioenergy 67:201-211.
    Abstract | 
  • López-Flores, M., B. D. Davis, F. J. Vilella, R. M. Kaminski, J. A. Cruz-Burgos, and J. D. Lancaster. 2014. Survival of female White-cheeked Pintails during brood rearing in Puerto Rico. Caribbean Naturalist 10:1-12.

    Abstract | 
  • Loman, Z.G., S.K. Riffell, D.A. Miller, J.A. Martin, and F.J. Vilella. 2013. Site preparation for switchgrass intercropping in loblolly pine plantations reduces retained trees and snags, but maintains downed woody debris. Forestry: 86(3):353-360.
  • Vilella, F.J. and W.F. Nimitz. Spatial dynamics of the Red-tailed Hawk in the Luquillo Mountains of Puerto Rico. Wilson Journal of Ornithology 124:758-766.
  • Mitchell, K.L., S.K. Riffell, L.W. Burger, Jr. and F.J. Vilella. 2012. Provisioning of nestling dickcissels in native warm-season grass field buffers. Wilson Journal of Ornithology 124: 298-309.
  • Vilella, F. J., J. A. Cruz-Burgos, and M. López-Flores. 2011. Nesting biology of the Yellow-breasted Crake Porzana flaviventer in Puerto Rico. Waterbirds 34(3): 363-368.
    Abstract | 
  • Vilella, F. J. 2010. Puerto Rican Nightjar (Caprimulgus noctitherus), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

    Abstract |  Publisher Website | 
  • Vilella, F. J., and G. A. Baldassarre. 2010. Abundance and distribution of waterbirds in the Llanos of Venezuela. The Wilson Journal of Ornithology 122(1): 102-115. Abstract | 
  • Llerandi-Roman, I. C., J. M. Rios-Cruz, and F. J. Vilella. 2009. Cliff nesting by the Red-tailed Hawk in moist karst forests of nothern Puerto Rico. Journal of Raptor Research 43: 167-169.
  • Vilella, F. J. 2008. Nest habitat use of the Puerto Rican Nightjar Caprimulgus noctitherus in Gu�nica Biospehre Reserve. Bird Conservation International 18 (4): 307-317. Abstract | 
  • Wood, D. R., F. J. Vilella, and L. W. Burger, Jr. 2008. Red-cockaded woodpecker (Picoides borealis) home range dynamics and macrohabitat selection in a loblolly-shortleaf pine forest. The Wilson Journal of Ornithology 120 (4): 793-800.
  • Wood, D. R., L. W. Burger Jr., and F. J. Vilella. 2008. Red-cockaded woodpecker reproduction, nest loss, and cavity kleptoparasitism in a Mississippi loblolly-shortleaf pine ecosystem. The Mississippi Kite 34(2): 34-52.
  • Vilella, F. J. 2007. Ecography of the Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis jamaicensis) in Puerto Rico. Pages 122-133 in Bildstein, K. L., D. R. Barbier, et al. (eds. ). Neotropical Raptors. Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, Raptor Conservation Science Series No. 1. Orwigsburg, Pennsylvania, USA.
  • Elmore, R. D., F. J. Vilella, and P. D. Gerard. 2007. Landscape correlates along mourning dove call-count routes in Mississippi. Journal of Wildlife Management 71(2): 422-427.
  • Vilella, F. J., and D. W. Hengstenberg. 2006. Broad-winged Hawk movements and habitat use in a moist limestone forest of Puerto Rico. Ornitolog�a Neotropical 17: 563-579.
  • Vest, J. L., R. M. Kaminski, A. D. Afton, and F. J. Vilella. 2006. Body mass of lesser scaup during fall and winter in the Mississippi flyway: recent trends and historic comparisons. Journal of Wildlife Management 70(6): 1789-1795.
  • Hengstenberg, D. W., and F. J. Vilella. 2005. Nesting ecology and behavior of Broad-winged Hawks in moist karst forests of Puerto Rico. Journal of Raptor Research 39(4): 396-408.
  • Jensen, W. J., M. S. Gregory, G. A. Baldassarre, F. J. Vilella, and K. L. Bildstein. 2005. Raptor abundance and distribution in the Llanos wetlands of Venezuela. Journal of Raptor Research 39(4): 409-420.
  • White, T. H., Jr., J. A. Collazo, and F. J. Vilella. 2005. Survival of captive-reared Puerto Rican Parrots released in the Caribbean National Forest. Condor 107:424-432.
  • White, T. H., Jr., J. A. Collazo, F. J. Vilella, and S. A. Guerrero. 2005. Effects of hurricane Georges on habitat use by captive-reared Hispaniolan Parrots (Amazona ventralis) released in the Dominican Republic. Ornitolog�a Neotropical 16:405-417.
  • Vilella, F. J., and J. H. Fogarty. 2005. Diversity and abundance of forest frogs (Anura: Leptodactylidae) before and after Hurricane Georges in the Cordillera Central of Puerto Rico. Caribbean Journal of Science 41(1):157-162.
  • Wood, D. R., L. W. Burger, Jr., and F. J. Vilella. 2005. Red-cockaded woodpecker (Picoides borealis) behavioral patterns in a Mississippi loblolly-shortleaf pine forest. Journal of the Mississippi Academy of Sciences 50(3):168-176.
  • Elmore, L. W., D. A. Miller, and F. J. Vilella. 2005. Foraging area size and habitat use of red bats (Lasiurus borealis) in an intensively managed pine forest in Mississippi. American Midland Naturalist 153:405-417.
  • Elmore, L. W., D. A. Miller, and F. J. Vilella. 2004. Selection of diurnal roosts by red bats (Lasiurus borealis) in an intensively managed pine forest in Mississippi. Forest Ecology and Management 199(1):11-20.
  • White, T. H., and F. J. Vilella. 2004. Nest management for the Puerto Rican Parrot: Gaining the technological edge. Ornitologia Neotropical 15 (Suppl. ):467-476.
  • Bowman, J. L., B. D. Leopold, F. J. Vilella, and D. A. Gill. 2004. A spatially explicit model, derived from demographic variables, to predict attitudes toward black bear restoration. 2004. Journal of Wildlife Management 68(2):223-232.
  • Lopez-Flores, M., J. A. Cruz-Burgos, and F. J. Vilella. 2003. Predation of a White-cheeked Pintail (Anas bahamensis) duckling by a bullfrog (Rana catesbiana). Caribbean Journal of Science 39(2):240-242.
  • Wood, D. R., F. J. Vilella, L. W. Burger, and J. W. Armacost. 2003. Surveying nocturnal bird species of the Southeast with silent and playback methods. Proceedings of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies 55:528-533.
  • Collazo, J. A., T. H. White, Jr., F. J. Vilella and Simon A. Guerrero. 2003. Survival of captive-reared Hispaniolan parrots released in Parque del Este, Dominican Republic. Condor 105:198-207.
  • Fogarty, J. H., and F. J. Vilella. 2003. Use of eucalyptus plantations and native forest by Eleutherodactylus frogs. Journal of Wildlife Management 67(1):187-196.
  • Fogarty, J. H., and F. J. Vilella. 2002. Population dynamics of Eleutherodactylus coqui in cordillera forest reserves of Puerto Rico. Journal of Herpetology 36(2):193-201.
  • Bowman, J. L., B. D. Leopold, F. J. Vilella, and H. A. Jacobson. 2002. Attitudes of landowners toward black bears compared between areas of high and low bear populations. Ursus 12:153-160.
  • Wood, D. R., F. J. Vilella, and L. W. Burger, Jr. 2001. Red-cockaded Woodpecker Banding at Bienville National Forest, Mississippi. North American Bird Bander 26:16-19.
  • Fogarty, J. H., and F. J. Vilella. 2001. Evaluating methodologies to survey Eleutherodactylus frogs in montane forests of Puerto Rico. Wildlife Society Bulletin 29(3):948-955.
  • Bowman, J. L., D. R. Wood, F. J. Vilella, B. D. Leopold, L. W. Burger, Jr., and K. D. Godwin. 2001. Effect of Red-cockaded woodpecker management on vegetation composition and structure and subsequent impacts on game species. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Biologists 53:220-234.
  • Wright, T. F., C. A. Toft, M. Albornoz, S. Beissinger, V. Berovides, A. T. Brice, J. Eberhard, E. Enkerlin, X. Galvez, J. Gilardi, J. Gonzalez, S. E. Koenig, P. Martuscelli, J. M. Meyers, K. Renton, A. M. Rodriguez, F. Rojas, V. Sanz, M. Sosa, S. Stoleson, A. Trujillo, F. J. Vilella, and J. W. Wiley. 2001. Nest poaching in Neotropical parrots. Conservation Biology 15(3):710-720.
  • Vilella, F. J., and R. B. Minnis. 2000. On vertebrate generations and plant succession: incorporating vegetation structural attributes into vertebrate modeling. GAP Analysis Bulletin 8:25-28.
  • White, T. H., J. L. Bowman, B. D. Leopold, H. A. Jacobson, W. P. Smith, and F. J. Vilella. 2000. Influence of Mississippi Alluvial Valley rivers on black bear movements and dispersal: implications for Louisiana black bear recovery. Biological Conservation 95(3):323-331.
  • Wood, D. R., L. W. Burger, Jr., F. J. Vilella, and B. E. Raulston. 2000. Long-term effects of red-cockaded woodpecker cavity entrance restrictors. Wildlife Society Bulletin 28(1):105-109.
  • Vilella, F. J. 1999. Ecological aspects and conservation status of the least tern in the West Indies. Pages 46-50 in Higgins, K. F., M. R. Brashier, and C. D. Kruse, editors. Proceedings of the 1998 piping plover and least tern symposium.
  • Vilella, F. J. 1999. Statistical modeling of interior least tern populations of the lower Mississippi river. Pages 21-36 in Higgins, K. F., M. R. Brashier, and C. D. Kruse, editors. Proceedings of the 1998 piping plover and least tern symposium.
  • Vilella, F. J. 1998. Biology of the mongoose (Herpestes javanicus) in a rainforest of Puerto Rico. Biotropica 30(1):120-125.
  • Wiley, J. W., and F. J. Vilella. 1998. Tropical Islands. Pages 315-349 in Mac, M. J., P. A. Opler, and P. D. Doran, editors. Status and trends of the nation's biological resources. U. S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA. 964 pp. (Keywords: biodiversity, Caribbean, endangered species, population trends) (FY1999)

Current Staff

Federal Staff: 2

Masters Students: 5

Phd Students: 3

Post Docs: 0

University Staff: 2

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 15

Scientific Publications: 52

Presentations: 63


Contact Us

Mississippi Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Mississippi State, MS 39762 Phone: (662) 325 - 2643 Fax: (662) 325 - 8795

Unit Leader

Leandro Miranda
Leandro Miranda.


  1. Map to Mississippi Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Unit, Mississippi State University

Mississippi Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Cooperators

  1. Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks
  2. Mississippi State University
  3. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  4. U.S. Geological Survey
  5. Wildlife Management Institute