Conservation status assessment of an endangered insular raptor: the Sharp-shinned Hawk in Puerto Rico
Sharp‐shinned Hawks (Accipiter striatus) are forest raptors that are widely distributed in the Americas. A subspecies endemic to Puerto Rico (A. s. venator) is listed as endangered and restricted to mature and old secondary montane forests and shade coffee plantations. However, recent information about the population status and distribution of Puerto Rican Sharp‐shinned Hawks is lacking. We developed a spatial geographic distribution model for Sharp‐shinned Hawks in Puerto Rico from 33 locations collected during four breeding seasons (2013–2016) using biologically relevant landscape variables (aspect, canopy closure, elevation, rainfall, slope, and terrain roughness). Elevation accounted for 89.8% of the model fit and predicted that the greatest probability of occurrence of Sharp‐shinned Hawks in Puerto Rico (> 60%) was at elevations above 900 m. Based on our model, an estimated 56.1 km2 of habitat exists in Puerto Rico with a high probability of occurrence. This total represents ~0.6% of the island's area. Public lands included 43.8% of habitat with high probability of occurrence (24.6 km2), 96% of which was located within four protected areas. Our results suggest that Sharp‐shinned Hawks are rare in Puerto Rico and restricted to the higher elevations of the Cordillera Central. Additional research is needed to identify and address ecological limiting factors, and recovery actions are needed to avoid the extinction of this endemic island raptor.
|Conservation status assessment of an endangered insular raptor: the Sharp-shinned Hawk in Puerto Rico
|Julio C. Gallardo, Francisco Vilella
|Journal of Field Ornithology
|USGS Publications Warehouse
|Coop Res Unit Atlanta