Supported by the British Birdwatching Fair, SOPI (BirdLife in Puerto Rico) has collaborated with researchers from Mississippi State University to conduct the first ever systematic survey of Puerto Rican Nightjar’s distribution. These intensive surveys have increased the known distribution of the species, leading to its downlisting to a lower category on the IUCN Red List.
With an estimated population of 1,400–2,000 individuals, Puerto Rican Nightjar Caprimulgus noctitherus is only found on Puerto Rico. SOPI (BirdLife in Puerto Rico and Species Guardian for the nightjar) working with Mississippi State University have carried out a detailed study of the distribution of this species. They found that the species is more widely distributed than previously thought, which lead to BirdLife lowering the species’ IUCN Red List category to Endangered.
The species was recorded over a broad region of southern Puerto Rico, but several sites where it was detected have not been incorporated in any of the major conservation planning efforts on the island. Unprotected areas in Puerto Rico are experiencing increasing deforestation from residential, industrial and recreational development, causing fragmentation, loss and degradation of remaining habitat. SOPI are now supporting work with private landowners, government agencies and other NGOs to ensure the continuity and integrity of the nightjar’s habitat.
BirdLife International (2013) Surveys suggest that Puerto Rican Nightjar is more widely distributed than previously thought. Presented as part of the BirdLife State of the world's birds website. Available from: http://birdlife.org/datazone/sowb/casestudy/554. Checked: 29/11/2014
|Key message: Conducting research to understand conservation needs|