Migratory and Interhabitat Connectivity of North American Songbirds on the South Coast of Puerto Rico II

Principal Investigator(s):

Fred C Schaffner, PhD; Ivelisse Rodríguez-Colón MS


Department of Biology, Universidad del Turabo, Gurabo, Puerto Rico

Project Term:

2015 - 2016

During this season the Blake-Nuttall fund has provided continuing support for (1) a recently established academic program in ornithology and avian conservation (the only such effort in Puerto Rico); (2) employ mist netting, color banding, and stable isotopic analysis for multiple species and light-level geolocator deployment for Northern Waterthrushes (Parkesia noveboracensis) to establish links between breeding and wintering populations of migratory songbirds that nest in North America and winter, or stop over in Puerto Rico; (3) document patterns of molt in Neotropical Migrants; and, (4) establish a long-term monitoring program for migratory and year-round resident species of terrestrial birds that utilize secondary coastal dry forest and mangroves in and around the area of the Jobos Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (JBNERR). The funds have provided continuing support for undergraduate, and graduate student research focusing on long-distance migratory and interhabitat movement, habitat quality, and social structure of migrants and nesting residents, and promote and enhance the academic and professional development of ornithology and citizen science in Puerto Rico. This project provides the first implementation of archival light-level geolocator technology by a Puerto Rican institution to study the migratory connectivity of Neotropical migratory birds in Puerto Rico and will complement existing information derived from banding returns and stable isotope analyses. This project allows us to demonstrate new technology to students and the public and help establish the specific intercontinental migratory connectivity of specific populations of migratory birds, especially the Northern Waterthrush, that breed in North America and pass the winter in Puerto Rico and/or South America.  We deployed 40 light-level geolocators on Northern Waterthrushes at Jobos Bay in Salinas, Puerto Rico.

Project Report: Migratory and Interhabitat Connectivity of North American Songbirds on the South Coast of Puerto Rico II

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