Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Vilella, Francisco

Committee Member

Leopold, Bruce

Committee Member

Lu, QiQi

Committee Member

Riffell, Sam

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Wildlife and Fisheries Science

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Forest Resources


Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture


The Puerto Rican Nightjar Caprimulgus noctitherus is an endangered species found in forest of southern Puerto Rico. I documented density of nightjars in Guánica Forest, the region of Guayanilla-Peñuelas, and Susúa Forest. The geographic range of the species was expanded because of this study and presence documented in a number of new localities. Stand level habitat model indicated forest type and midstory visual obscurity best predicted nightjar habitat. Landscape model predicted considerably more suitable nightjar habitat exists than had been previously estimated (> 30%) and highlighted several areas of importance for the species. I evaluated nightjar population estimation techniques and found use of point transects with lures (playback) and moon phase covariates generated best estimates. My results highlighted several sites currently under private ownership that should be protected or acquired. Establishment of new protected areas for the nightjar represents highest priority for conservation and eventual delisting of the species.



Distance Sampling||Point Transect with Lures||Landscape Ecology||Habitat Modeling||Population Estimatio||Nightjars