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Temporal and spatial stability of red-tailed hawk territories in the Luquillo Experimental Forest, Puerto Rico

January 1, 2003

We mapped Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) territories in the Luquillo Experimental Forest (LEF) of Puerto Rico in 1998. We combined our 1998 data with that collected during previous studies of Red-tailed Hawks in the LEF to examine population numbers and spatial stability of territorial boundaries over a 26-yr period. We also investigated potential relationships between Red-tailed Hawk territory sizes and topographic and climatic factors. Mean size of 16 defended territories during 1998 was 124.3 ?? 12.0 ha, which was not significantly different from our calculations of mean territory sizes derived from data collected in 1974 and 1984. Aspect and slope influenced territory size with the smallest territories having high slope and easterly aspects. Territory size was small compared to that reported for other parts of the species' range. In addition, there was remarkably little temporal change in the spatial distribution, area, and boundaries of Red-tailed Hawk territories among the study periods. Further, there was substantial boundary overlap (21-27%) between defended territories among the different study periods. The temporal stability of the spatial distribution of Red-tailed Hawk territories in the study area leads us to believe the area might be at or near saturation.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2003
Title Temporal and spatial stability of red-tailed hawk territories in the Luquillo Experimental Forest, Puerto Rico
DOI
Authors C. W. Boal, H.A. Snyder, Brent D. Bibles, T.S. Estabrook
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Raptor Research
Series Number
Index ID 70025374
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization