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Breeding ecology and predictors of nest success in the Critically Endangered Ridgway’s Hawk Buteo ridgwayi

  • LANCE G. WOOLAVER (a1), RINA K. NICHOLS (a2), EUGENE S. MORTON (a1) and BRIDGET J. M. STUTCHBURY (a1)

Summary

Ridgway’s Hawk Buteo ridgwayi is a Critically Endangered forest raptor endemic to the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean. The species is currently limited to a small area on the north-east coast of the island, with fewer than 110 pairs remaining. From 2005 to 2009 we studied its breeding ecology, finding that Ridgway’s Hawks have a clutch size (2.0 ± 0.4 eggs) similar to other tropical raptors and island Buteo species. Fledging rate of 0.64 fledglings per active nest (fledgling nest-1) with pairs raising a single brood per year was also similar to that of other tropical Buteo species. Nest success was 40% (n = 151), with the majority of nest failures caused by human disturbance. The two significant predictors of nest success and fledging rate were related to human persecution: nest height and territory disturbance index. Pairs were able to tolerate human activity in their territory if there was no direct disturbance to the immediate nest area. Conservation planning for Ridgway’s Hawk must focus on community awareness programmes targeting local user groups within Los Haitises National Park regarding the uniqueness and endangered status of the hawk, and effective protection of the remaining karst forest in Los Haitises.

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*Author for correspondence; email: lancewoolaver@hotmail.com

References

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Breeding ecology and predictors of nest success in the Critically Endangered Ridgway’s Hawk Buteo ridgwayi

  • LANCE G. WOOLAVER (a1), RINA K. NICHOLS (a2), EUGENE S. MORTON (a1) and BRIDGET J. M. STUTCHBURY (a1)

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