Discipline: Ecology Environmental and Earth Sciences
Naomi Mercado - University of Puerto Rico - Aguadilla
Co-Author(s): Von Torres, University of Puerto Rico- Aguadilla Campus, PR; Digno Alberty, University of Puerto Rico- Aguadilla Campus, PR; Fabiola Gonzalez, University of Puerto Rico-Aguadilla Campus, PR and Dr. Adrianne Tossas, University of Puerto Rico- Aguadilla Campus, PR
Since November 2017 I have been surveying the avifauna of Yeguada lagoon, a small saline water body in the municipality of Camuy, known as an important bird site in northwestern Puerto Rico. In 22 biweekly counts I found 29 aquatic species, with a mean of 447.5 individuals per count. Counts ranged from 188 individuals in June to 707 individuals in February. The five most abundant species were White-cheeked Pintail (Anas bahamensis, mean = 106) Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus,77), Blue-winged Teal (Anas discors, 53), Black-necked Stilt (Himantopus mexicanus, 45) and Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis, 27) and a single individual of American Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber) were regularly found. The Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus), an endangered species, was recorded in one of these censuses. I am interested in continuing these surveys in order to understand population fluctuations among seasons and years. In addition, I intend to test the accuracy of data collected from photographs obtained from unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) by comparing these results with the traditional ground-based counting methods. This information can be used for conservation purposes, since the lagoon lies within private lands mainly used for cattle grazing.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): PR-LSAMP- NSF
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Adrianne Tossas, email@example.com
Role: I have done 22 biweekly surveys, counted more than 9,200 individuals and intend to continue my research, proving possible fluctuations hypothesis and a basis for future ornithology researchers in Puerto Rico.