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Red-tailed Hawk movements and use of habitat in the Luquillo Mountains of Puerto Rico

May 1, 2012

The Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) is a top predator of upland ecosystems in the Greater Antilles. Little information exists on the ecology of the insular forms of this widely distributed species. We studied movements and resource use of the Red-tailed Hawk from 2000 to 2002 in the montane forests of northeastern Puerto Rico. We captured 32 and used 21 radio-marked Red-tailed Hawks to delineate home range, core area shifts, and macrohabitat use in the Luquillo Mountains. Red-tailed Hawks in the Luquillo Mountains frequently perched near the top of canopy emergent trees and were characterized by wide-ranging capabilities and extensive spatial overlap. Home range size averaged 5,022.6 6 832.1 ha (305–11,288 ha) and core areas averaged 564.8 6 90.7 ha (150–1,230 ha). This species had large mean weekly movements (3,286.2 6 348.5 m) and a preference for roadside habitats. Our findings suggest fragmentation of contiguous forest outside protected areas in Puerto Rico may benefit the Red-tailed Hawk

Citation Information

Publication Year 2012
Title Red-tailed Hawk movements and use of habitat in the Luquillo Mountains of Puerto Rico
DOI 10.1676/1559-4491-124.4.758
Authors Francisco Vilella, Wyatt F. Nimitz
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Wilson Journal of Ornithology
Series Number
Index ID 70154818
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Coop Res Unit Atlanta