We estimated numbers and survival of White-cheeked Pintails (Anas bahamensis) in eastern Puerto Rico during 1996-1999. We also quantified their movements between Culebra Island and the Humacao Wildlife Refuge, Puerto Rico. Mark-resight population size estimates averaged 1020 pintails during nine, 3-month sampling periods from January 1997 to June 1999. On average, minimum regional counts were 38 % lower than mark-resight estimates (mean = 631). Adult survival was 0.51 ?? 0.09 (SE). This estimate is similar for other anatids of similar size but broader geographic distribution. The probability of pintails surviving and staying in Humacao was hiher (67 %) than for counterparts on Culebra (31 %). The probability of surviving and moving from Culebra to Humacao (41 %) was higher than from Humacao to Culebra (20 %). These findings, and available information on reproduction, indicate that the Humacao Wildlife Refuge refuge has an important role in the regional demography of pintails. Our findings on population numbers and regional survival are encouraging, given concerns about the species' status due to habitat loss and hunting. However, our outlook for the species is tempered by the remaining gaps in the population dynamics of pintails; for examples, survival estimates of broods and fledglings (age 0-1) are needed for a comprehensive status assessment. Until additional data are obtianed, White-cheeked Pintails should continue to be protectd from hunting in Puerto Rico.
Additional publication details
Population size, survival, and movements of white-cheeked pintails in Eastern Puerto Rico