Critically Endangered Puerto Rican Nightjar on "Neotropical Birds"

By David Wege, Wed, 21/07/2010 - 11:11
An authoritative online life history for the Critically Endangered Puerto Rican Nightjar Caprimulgus noctitherus has been published on Neotropical Birds Online. The species account deals with identification, distribution, life history, conservation and future research recommendations and provides an essential resource for the conservation of this species. The Puerto Rican Nightjar is endemic to the coastal and lower montane forests of southern and south-western Puerto Rico. Recent research suggests that it is more common than was thought but the species remains at risk from anthropogenic habitat loss or degradation. Puerto Rican Nightjars are more abundant in the upland forest in and around the Guánica Biosphere Reserve. However, nightjars range as far as Cabo Rojo in the extreme south-western tip of the island, to the municipality of Guayama in south-eastern Puerto Rico. They exhibit a preference for semi-deciduous and evergreen forest types. The full account on Neotropical Birds can be found here. Vilella, F. J. (2010) Puerto Rican Nightjar (Caprimulgus noctitherus), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology.



I have seen this bird, and it’s just amazing! Keep up the good work!

Thanks so much for the story! We've since added new life history and breeding biology photos to the account, please take a look!

Dear friends and colleagues, When this bied was described from fossils, it was thought to be extinct. The locals at The southwestern dry forest knew of its existence, but it still was unknown to science. The "rediscovery" was based on vocalizations and, eventual collecting and its status remained critical due to the ollution caused by the oil refineries in southwestwern Puerto Rico. Insects, the main prey for the nightjar were virtually absent in the dry forest. The end of the petrochemical industry resulted in the rebirth of the dry forest and eventual recovery of the PR Nightjar. The species is fairly common and dispersing along the south of the Island. Its critical status is more from potential habitat destruction and the, highly improbable, return of heavy chemical industry. In my opinion, the PR Nightjar is in the road to recovery and, in the future will be in the same status as the Antillean Nighthawk. Yes, it´s an amazing bird, but it´s more than, simply, just that.

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