Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Vilella, Francisco J.

Committee Member

Leopold, Bruce D.

Committee Member

Minnis, Rochard B.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Wildlife and Fisheries

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Forest Resources


Department of Wildlife and Fisheries


I determined abundance, movement and activity patterns of the Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis jamaicensis, RTHA) in Río Abajo Forest, Puerto Rico and surrounding lands during 2003-2004. Captive-reared Puerto Rican Parrots (Amazona vittata, PRPA) are scheduled for release in Rio Abajo Forest in 2006. Annual density of RTHAs (0.90 RTHAs/km2) was similar to the Caribbean National Forest (CNF; 1.29 RTHAs/ km2). RTHAs annual survival was high (0.89), and birds maintained compressed territories around the Rio Abajo Forest. Home ranges were 91% smaller than estimates reported for CNF, yet similar to those in North America. Approximately 98.3% of RTHA locations occurred outside the Río Abajo Forest boundaries. RTHAs exhibited random macrohabitat use patterns in north-central Puerto Rico. However, within their home ranges, RTHAs selected fragmented habitats with high patch and edge density, and avoided large tracts of dense closed canopy forest. Encounters between RTHAs and PRPAs may increase as parrots venture beyond the boundaries of Rio Abajo Forest.



Red-tailed Hawk||Buteo jamaicensis jamaicensis||Puerto Rican Parrot||Puerto Rico||moist karst forests||endangered species||reintroduction||Río Abajo Forest