Reliable estimates of life history parameters and their functional role in animal population trajectories are critical, yet often missing, components in conservation and management. We developed seasonal matrix population models of the Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis jamaicensis in the upper and lower forests of the Luquillo Mountains, Puerto Rico, to describe the influence of early life stages (nestling and clutch survival) on population growth. Modelled populations exhibited positive discrete rates of growth in forests above 400 m (λ highlands = 1.05) and in forests below 400 m (λ lowlands = 1.27) of the Luquillo Mountains. Further, adult survival was the parameter with the highest proportional effect and direct contribution to growth of the population. Besides survival of adults, our results identified that nestling survival had the second greatest influence on λ, stressing the importance of this life stage for the population growth rate of Red-tailed Hawks in our study area. Seasonal matrices are not commonly used to describe population dynamics of birds. However, these may be a useful tool to analyse the influence of life stages in the annual cycle to better address conservation and management needs, especially for species inhabiting oceanic islands.
|Title||A seasonal population matrix model of the Caribbean Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis jamaicensis in eastern Puerto Rico|
|Authors||Julio C. Gallardo, Francisco Vilella, Michael E. Colvin|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Coop Res Unit Atlanta|