Cooperative Research Units
Education, Research And Technical Assistance For Managing Our Natural Resources
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Habitat suitability modeling and island-wide rapid assessment for presence of the endangered Broad-Winged Hawk Buteo platypterus brunnescens and Sharp-shinned Hawk Accipiter striatus vennator in Puerto Rico.


August 2015 - September 2017


Identify sites in Puerto Rico with remnant populations and/or individuals of BWHA and SSHA, and implement necessary actions to protect and recover both species. Actions to prevent the extinction will include: determine island-wide spatial distribution, search for new populations within traditional and non-traditional sites, identification and characterization of current used habitat, identification of additional habitat for the species through modeling, identify imminent mortality factors (threats), promote long-term conservation of public and private lands occupied by the species, determine number of individuals and populations necessary to ensure species stability, security and self-perpetuation and determine additional actions (e.g., captive breeding program) that might be necessary to achieve recovery objectives.
Showing Success: The confirmation through this project of healthy and stable populations of BWHA outside the Río Abajo Commonwealth Forest would lead the Service to show success by reclassifying the status this species in the near future.

Research Products and Activities

Peer Reviewed Publications

  • 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.


  • Gallardo, J.C., and F.J. Vilella. 2014. The Puerto Rican Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus vennator): an insular species on the edge. Raptor Research Foundation Annual Conference, 24-28 September, 2014. Corpus Chrisit, TX.
  • Vilella, F.J. 2015. Status of the endangered Puerto Rican Broad-winged Hawk (Buteo platypterus brunnescens): conservation challenges and opportunities. Island Ecology Symposium, Raptor Research Foundation Annual Conference, November 3-8, 2015. Sacramento CA.

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



Funding Agencies

  • Cooperative Research Unit Program


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