Group Title: Pitirre (Camarillo, Calif.)
Title: El Pitirre
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 Material Information
Title: El Pitirre
Uniform Title: Pitirre (Camarillo, Calif.)
Abbreviated Title: Pitirre (Camarillo Calif.)
Physical Description: v. : ill. ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Wiley, James W
Wiley, James W
Society of Caribbean Ornithology
Society for the Study of Caribbean Ornithology
Publisher: Society for the Study of Caribbean Ornithology
Place of Publication: Camarillo Calif
Camarillo, Calif
Publication Date: 1996
Frequency: bimonthly
Subject: Ornithology -- Periodicals -- Caribbean Area   ( lcsh )
Birds -- Periodicals -- Caribbean Area   ( lcsh )
Genre: periodical   ( marcgt )
Language: In English, with some Spanish.
Dates or Sequential Designation: Vol. 1, no. 1 (Jan.-Feb. 1988)-
Dates or Sequential Designation: Ceased in 2002.
Numbering Peculiarities: Vol. 1, no. 3 covers the period May-Aug. 1988.
Issuing Body: Newsletter of the Society for the Study of Caribbean Ornithology, Jan/Feb.-Mar./Apr. 1988; the Society of Caribbean Ornithology, May/Aug. 1988-
General Note: Editor, 1988- James W. Wiley.
General Note: Latest issue consulted: Vol. 15, no. 1 (spring 2002) (Surrogate)
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00100143
Volume ID: VID00029
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 23284416
lccn - sn 99004863
issn - 1527-7151
 Related Items
Succeeded by: Journal of Caribbean Ornithology


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.... Sociedad de laOmiroo i'a Calbiib A,


* .. ... Soxiety of Ca ri bban omithology .
I. ,' , .' , '. '. '_" ,U


El Pitirre is the newsletter of the Society of
Caribbean Ornithology.

El Fitirre es el boletfn informative de la
Sociedad de la Ornitologfa Caribefla.

E.rroR: James W. Wiley, 2201 Ashland SL,
Ruston, Louisiana 71270, U.S.A.
ASSISTANT EDIooR: Barbara Keesee,
Grambling Cooperative Wildlife Project, P.
0. Box 4290, Grambling State University,
Grambling, Louisiana 71245, U.S.A.

News, comments or requests shouldbenmailed
to the editor for inclusion in the newsletter.

Noticias, comentarios o peticiones deben ser
envfadasal editorpara inclusion en elboletin.

Tyrannus dominicensis

Pitirre, Gray Kingbird, Pestigre, Petchary

The Society of Caribbean Ornithology is a non-profit organization
whose goals are to promote the scientific study and conservation of
Caribbean birds and their habitats, to provide a link among island
ornithologists and those elsewhere, to provide a written forum for
reseaxhers in the region (refereed journal--Ornitologfa Caribefa,
published in conjunc Lion with the Puerto Rico Ornithological Soci-
ety) and to provide data or technical aid to conservation groups in the

La Sociedad de la Omitologfa Caribena es una organization sin
fines de lucro cuyas metas son promover el studio cientffico y la
conservaci6n de la avifauna caribe ia, auspiciar un simposio annual
Orniologta Caribelia (publicada en conjunto con la Sociedad
Ornitoldgica de Puerto Rico), ser tna fuente de comunicacida entire
omit6logos caribeflos y en otras areas y proveer ayuda t&.cnica o
datos a grupos de conservaci6n en el caribe.

aNTEn FRENcn AmTuES. Nicolas Barre, Philippe Feldmann,
Georges Tayalay, Patrice Roc, Maurice Anselme, and
P. William Smith ...... ....................... ...... 2
TDm EuAsAN CoLLARE>--Dove on Nevis. Julian Francis ............ 4
EN CUBA. Arturo Kirkconnell y Orlando H. Garrido ............ 5
AN UmiowN PARAET ON HISPANIOLA. P. William Smith ............. 5
DO.MEICANA. Club de Observadores de Aves Annabelle Dod .. 6
NorAs SoBwmI LA ALmuM ACroN Da CrOTOPHAGA Am (Avas:
M arIa Elena Garca ............................................................... 6
Guy M. Kirwan, Robert S. R. Williams. and
Chris G. Bradshaw ................................................... .......... 7
M ichael E. Baltz ............................................................... 8
THRnKoataRmruAE) AL NORT DE Fn .. DE AvA., CUBA.
Martfn Acosia Crus y Orlando Torres Fundora....................... 8

I Continued on page 34


'A EVA-Le Towo-Bois. c/o N. Barr4 Bel Air Desr dires. 97170 Perit Bowg, Cuadeloupe, FWt: 'AEVA-la Gorge-Blanche. coA A. A.
Revel, Ravine Vilaine, 97200 Fort de France, Martinique, FWI; 'Office National dtie la Chasse, 97110 Pointt--Pitre, Guadeloupe,
FWI; Parc National de la Guadeloupe. Monteran, BP 13, 97120 St. Claude, Guadeloupe, FWI; and 'National Park Service, 4001
Stare Road 9336, Hornetead, Florida 33034, USA

Subsequent to his earlier-published accounts of the origin
and spread of the introduced Eurasian Collared-Dove
(Streptopelia decaocto) in the United States (Smith and Kale
1986, Smith 1987). Smith (1995) reviewed the status of this
species in the Caribbean. From Cuban observations (Garrido
and Kirkconnell 1990, 1996) and his own in the Lesser
An illes, Smith listed the following islands where the collared-
dove occurs along with colonization dates: Cuba before
1990, currently at leastinLaHabana(Garrido and Kirkcon nell
1990, 1996); Montserrat about 1990, at Plymouth; and
Dominica- about 1987, Roseau. In his review, Smith (1995)
suggested that other islands bad populations and predicted
that most of te inhabited West Indies would be occupied by
the collared-dove in the future. Francis (1996) has since
reported this species on Nevis from at least 1995.
Because two of us (PF, NB) had observed this species on
Guadeloupe for more than a decade, we investigated whether
that population might have been the source of the regional
spread, given that Guadeloupe is situated between the two
Lesser Antillean islands where Smith (1995) documented its
occurrence (Fig. 1). Here we report the current status of the
Eurasian Collared-Dove in Guadeloupe (including close
dependencies) and Martinique, and present new evidence
that Guadeloupe is the probable origin of this bird in the
Lesser Antilles.
Mrs. Suzanne Valeau (pers. comm.) informed us that her
father-in-law, Mr. Amidde Valeau, bought several pairs of
Eurasian Collared-Doves in a Paris, France, pet shop, "Quai
de ]a Mdgisserie," about 30 years ago. He placed them in his
aviary at Beauvallon (alt. 230 m) in the lowest part. of the
municipality of St. Claude, Guadeloupe. He had ca. 20 doves
in 1976 when nearby la Soufri&re threatened to erupt, forcing
the evacuation of the towns of Basse Terre and St. Claude.
When Mr. Valeau departed, he opened the door of his aviary.
Upon his return, eight birds remained, which he left at liberty
and began to regularly feed. The birds flourished in the wild.
When we visited the property 20 years later in June 1996, we
estimated the population as 600-800 birds, which we learned
consumed ca. 20 kg. of corn daily (Suzanne Valeau, pers.
comm.). All birds showed the size, color, and call characters
of Eurasian Collared-Doves as described by Smith (1987),
which easily distinguished them from the Ringed Turtle-
Dove (Streptopelia risoriaa"). Two were cream-colored, a
known morph also observed by Smith (1987).
Considering its size and longevity, this population, near-
the center of the reported Lesser Antillean range of this
species, is almost certainly the source of its natural spread,
Page 2

not only to Guadeloupe (Fig. 2), but also to neighboring
islands (Fig. 1). Nevertheless, we cannot discount the pos-
sibility of some human introductions in places quite distant
from the source (Point-- Pitre, St. Fran ois), and particularly
on Martinique, where we also documented the presence of
Eurasian Collared-Doves (Fig. 3). The known locations and
sub-population sizes in the French Antilles are summarized
in Table I and Figs. 2 and 3.
Neither the Eurasian Collared-Dove nor any other exotic
Columbidae is mentioned by Pinchon (1976) or Barrd and
Binito-Espinal (1985). Bdnito-Espinal and Haucastel (1988)
dostate (without date) that Streptopeliadecaocro and Columba
guinea were introduced to Guadeloupe as "game" birds. If so,
the latter species failed to become established, and the basis
of the statement concerning the formeris u certain. The Ringed
Turtle-Dove, the domesticated form of S. roseogrisea (Smith
1987), is a common cage-bird in the French Antilles, where
it sometimes escapes and survives in inhabited areas, usually
only for short periods, The Rock Dove (Columba livia) is also
found in the wild, in and around towns.
In summary, a growing population of Eurasian Collared-
Doves, originating from birds first released in 1976, is
centeredinSt. Claude, Guadeloupe, and is spreading outward
on Guadeloupe and beyond. We believe that it is the source
of individuals observed in the nearby Lesser Antilles. This
population is independent ofbirds released in the B ahamas at
about the same time (Smith 1987), which now have spread at
least to the United States and Cuba.
We thank Mrs. Suzanne Valeau for the precise and
interesting information she provided us.


Barre, N., and E, Bdnito-Espinal. 1985. Oiseaux granivores
exotiques en Guadeloupe hMarie Galante et enMartinique
(Antilles Frangaises). Oiseau et R. F 55:235-241.
Benito-Espinal, E.. and P. Haucastel. 1988. Les oiseaux
menacs deGuadeloupe etde Martinique. Pp. 37-60 in Livre
Rouge des Oiseaux menacds des Rdgions frangaises
d'Outre-Mer. J. C. Thibault and 1. Guyot (eds.). CIP/
ICBP, St. Cloud, Cambridge.
Francis, 1. 1996. The Eurasian Collared-Dove on Nevis. El
Pitirre 9(3):4,
Garrido, 0. H., and A. Kirkconnell. 1990. La Tortla
Strepropelia decaocto (Ayes: Columbinac) en Cuba. El
Pitirre 8(3):2.
El Fitirra 9(3)

Barr ej E4,rtion, Coilared-Dove in French Aniirles (candmnredk

Table I. Locations, dates, and numbers of Eurasian Collared-ooves observed In the French Antilles.

Island and Population
municipality location Date Comments

SL Claude

Basse Terre


Vicux Habitants
Gourbeyre and
Trois Rivibre

St, Franqois

Terry de Haut

Le Pracheur

Fort de France
Basse Pointe

Centered at Beauvallon and along
Rivibrc des Pares; absent above
400 mn
Town, widespread; numerous in
botanical garden
Town; as far as Blanchette, 3 kmin
River, sea coast
No data

Town; place de la Victoire

Marina Bas du Fort
Raisins Clais


Anse Mire



Observed from about 1980;
introduced at Beauvallon in
Observed from about 1980

Observed from about 1980

January 1994
June 1996
No data

May 1996
April 1996
May 1996
May 1996

September 1995
June 1995. May 1996
January 1995
February 1996
April 1996

May 1996

August 1996

May 1994

June 1996
January 1996
June 1996

About 1000 present
(600-800 at
Mrs. Valeau's property)
100-200 present

50-100 present

I observed

I observed
2 observed
6 observed
20-30 observed, some
build nests
2 observed
5 observed
2 observed
I observed
I observed

1 observed, tentatively
mated with a male S.
3 observed

1 bird; others seen
I observed
4 observed
2 observed

Fig-. I Distribution (stars) of the Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) in Florida and
the .Caribbean, with dates of first records (primarily from Smith 1987, 1995).

El Pilirre 9(3)

Page 3

Barri at a Eurasian Collared-Dave in French Awtilles fconri'nied)

Fig. 2. Distribution of the Eurasian Collared-Dove in Guadeloupe Fig. 3. Distribution of the Eurasian Collared-Dove in Martinique
and nearby satellites, with estimated sizes of sub-populations, and estimated sizes of sub-populations.

LERArU-RE CITED (continued)

Garrido, 0. H., and A. KirkconnelL 1996. La Tortola
(Streptopelia decaocto) anidando en Cuba. El Pitirre 9(1):
Pinchon, R. P. 1976. Faune des Antilles frangaises. Les
Oiseaux (26me dd.). Fort de France. 264pp.
Smith, P. W. 1987. The Eurasian Collared-Dove arrives in

the Americas. Am. Birds 41:1370-1379.
Smith, P. W. 1995. The Eurasian Collared-Dove reaches the
Lesser Antilles, El Pitirre 8(3):3.
Smith, P. W., and H. W. Kale, I. 1986. Eurasian Collared-
Dove collected in Florida. Florida Field Nat. 14:104-107.


65 Fleet Street, London, EC4Y 1HS

Bill Smith's note in the Fall 1995 edition of El Pitirre has
prompted me to report some sightings of Eurasian Collared-
Dove, Strepropelia decaocto, on Nevis, one of the smaller
islands in the Lesser Antilles. Up to six birds were resident at
Montpelier Plantation Inn during my stay there between 28
March and 9 April 1995. Four of the birds appeared to be
paired, they were flying together in pairs and one pair was
seen displaying. During my stay there this year from 29
March to 11 April, only four birds were present; one pair was
seen mating. Ihad previously stayed at Montpelier Plantation
Inn for two weeks during the period January to mid-April in
1990,1992 and 1993, but had notseen any Eurasian Collared-
Doves. Although I am familiar with the Eurasian Collared-
Dove, which is common in Britain and Europe, I was initially
mislead by the American fields guides, which seemed to
indicate that the birds must be Ringed Turtle-Dove.
Streptopelia risoria. These field guides do not seem to have
taken into account Smith's analysis (1987).

The overall coloring of the birds was light buffer tan with
contrasting blackish primaries, with a distinctive black collar
around the nape reaching each side of the neck, They had a
distinctive tri-syllable call (ooo-oooo-oo) with the emphasis
being on the second syllable, The call was often repeated in
a monotonous fashion. They also made a mewing call,
particularly when landing. Having reviewed Smith's 1987
article, I am now confident that they are Eurasian Collared-
Doves. The origin of these birds requires furtherinvestigation.
Obviously, we should all be keeping a look-out for the birds
on other islands where they have not so far been identified


Smith, P. W. 1987. The Eurasian Collared-Dove arrives in
the Americas. Am. Birds 41:1370-1379,
Smith, P. W. 1995. The Eurasian Collared-Dove reaches the
Lesser Antilles. El Pitirre 8(3):3.

El Pitirre 9(3)

_0 K 0' T-e.e de Haut


* > 10 bIrds
* < 10 birds

Page 4


Museo NacioAal de Hisworia Narural, La Habana, Cuba

Dentro de las bijiritas migratorias que arriban a Cuba, la
Candelita (Setophaga ruticlla) es una de las mni communes
como resident internal. Elhecho deencontrarla nidificando
en nuestro archipidlago adqufere gran relevancia, ya que no
se conocfa de un report similar para las Antilles y lo cual no
erade sorprender, pucs ya Garrido y Garcfa(Caldilgo de las
Aves de Cuba. Acad. Cienc. Cuba, La Habana. 1975)
mencionan que ]a misma se observa todos los meses del afio,
per lo que no era de dudar que algunos individuos
permanecieran durante el verano en la isla. Kirkconnell en
compalifa del Dr. Thomas Pharr, observe a esta especie en
Blue Mountain, Jamaica en agosto de 1962.
Hasta el presence existen s6lo tres reports vAlidos al
respect en Cuba, cl primero es el hallazgo de Josd Morales
Leal, quien encontr6 un nido con dos huevos y una hembra
incubandolo en un area boscosa llarnada San Severino

(Provincia de Camragiiey). El segundo, cnjulio de 1989 fue
donado at Museo Nacional de Historia Natural un nido con
dos huevos, el cual fue hallado en el interior de un racimo de
platanos (Mtsa paradisiaca) comprado en un mercado,
correspondidndose a dicha especie. El tersero en abril 1990,
cuando el author senior observed dos juveniles en el Jardfn
Zooidgico de ]a Habana emitiendo notas de reclamo de
alimento a la madre que se encontraba a unos 4 metros de
ellos. Lamadre vol6hacia llos y luego los tresjuntosvolaron
hacia otra rama posandose juntos. Los j6venes eran much
mis pAlidos y tenian las rectrices adn no desarrolladas.
Ya con anterioridad, le habfa sida comentado a Garrido
porel hijode Rogelio Garcfa (gufade campo de observadores
de avyes en la Ci6naga de Zapata) el hallazgo de un aido do
Candelica en los alrededores de Soplilar.


P. 0. Box 901341 Homestead, Fl 33090, USA

In early afternoon of 26 March 1996, Larry Manfredi and I
were driving down from the higher elevations of the Sierrade
Bahoruco in southwestern Dominican Republic. About 9 km
east of El Aguacate border post on the road to Puerto
Escondido, in a transition zone between mesic and xeric
forest types at 500 m above sea level (a.s.1.), a passing hawk
disturbed a large group of psittacines nearby. A flock of 10
parakeets (A rating) settled in a dead tree next to us. We soon
realized that they were not Hispaniolan Parakeets (A.
chtoroptera), which now occurmostly at higher elevations in
this region (Dod 1992; pers. obs.), but instead showed
characters of the Olive-throated Parakeet (A. nana), a species
found in Jamaica and Central America (Bond 1961, American
Ornithologists' Union 1983). None of the birds showed red
anywhere, and all had largely burnt-olive underparts of
subtly different shading. Otherwise the birds were mostly
rich green (including lower flanks and undertail coverts).
with blue flight feathers and long tails which were green
above. yellowish-olive below. The orbital region was white
and the beak pale horn. We returned to the area the following
day and found at least as many similar birds about 2 km
farther east. 10 km west of Puerto Escondido, They were
mostly in pairs, feeding on the ripe fruit of gumbo limbo tree.s
(Bursera simaruba)_
The Olive-throated Parakeet is considered by some
authorities to consist of two species, the Jamaican Parakeet

(A. nana; sensu stricro) and the Aztec Parakeet (A. astec) of
Mexico and Central America (e.g., Howell and Webb 1995),
The differences between these taxa, which even Bond (1940)
once considered separate species, are subtle and primarily
based on measurements and color tones. Our descriptive
notes seem inadequate to assign the birds we saw definitely to
one form or the other, if indeed they should be assigned to
The Jamaican Parakeet is a fairly common and widespread
resident of Jamaica, which lies about 200 km west of the
westernmost point in Hispaniola and about 500 km west of the
location where we saw these birds. Psittacines generally show
diagnosable differences among insular populations, and it is
unlikely that they can achieve lengthy overwater dispersal or
vagrancy facilely(Wiley 1993). Such an explanation probably
is unlikely to account for nana-like birds on Hispaniola,
If these birds themselves were released on Hispaniola or
are descendants of birds released there in recent years, it
would seem more likely that they would be Aztec rather than
Jamaican Parakeets, Far more cage bird traffic originates in
Central America than in Jamaica, where the Wildlife Protection
Act prohibits capture or exportation of native birds (C. Levy,
pers- comm.). A release might have been unintentional, even
from a passing ship, and thus be untraceable. It also might
have occurred in nearby Haiti, perhaps as a result of civil
unrest there,

El Pitirre 9(3)

Page 5

Smith Parakeet in Hispaniola (cominued)
The most intriguing possibility is that these bi rds represent
a relict of an ancient population on Hispaniola, hitherto
overlooked. The parakeets were in mostly xeric environment t
in an area where little collecting was done historically, at an
elevation below the usual moremesic habitatofA. chloroplera.
The nearest lower-elevation specimen of the Hispaniolan
Parakeet apparently is from Polo, at 600 m a.s.I, about 50 km
southeast of our observations (Wetmore and Swales 1931).
Since several other avian genera or species show modem
links in the Greater Antilles between only Hispaniola and
Jamaica (e.g. Hyetornis, Siphonorhis, "Kalochelidon,"
Elaenia fallax. Myiarchus stolidus), an avifaunal link be-
tween those islands evidently existed at one time.
It may be fairly easy to resolve any question of these
parakeets' origin by collecting a small series and studying
their skins against all known populations of Olive-throated
Parakeets, If distinctive, then presumably they would represent
long-isolated relicts. If like Aztec Parakeets, almost certainly
they would have been released on the island. If like Jamaican
Parakeets, however, it may be difficult to be certain how they
got there. I hope Dominican wildlife authorities or others will
begi n this process. If distinct, almost certainly these parakeets
are in need of protection. If exotic, on the other hand, perhaps
they should be eradicated to protect the nativeA. chloroptera.
I thank Bill Beaty for facilitating our trip to Hispaniola,

Storrs Olson and Bill Robertson for commenting on earlier
drafts of this manuscript. Catherine Levy for updating me on
wildlife law and practice in Jamaica, and Larry Manfredi for
his companionship, especially for insisting that we study
these parakeets carefully rather than simply pass them off as
A. chloroptera.


American Ornithologists' Union. 1983. Check-list of North
American birds, sixth edition. AOU, Washington, D. C.
Bond. JL 1940, Check-list of birds of the West Indies. Acad-
emy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Bond, J. 1961. Birds of the West Indies. First American
edition. Houghton Mifflin, Boston, Massachusetts.
Dod, A. S. 1992, Endangered and endemic birds of the
Dominican Republic. Cypress House, Ft. Bragg, Californi a.
Howell, S. N. G., and S. Webb. 1995. A guide to the birds of
Mexico and northern Central America. Oxford University
Press, Oxford.
Wetmore, A., and B. H. Swales. 1931. The birds of Haiti and
the Dominican Republic. U. S. Nat- Mus. Bull. 155.
Wiley, J. W. 1993. Natural range expansion and local
extirpation of an exotic psittacine an unsuccessful
colonization attempt. Omitol. Neotrop. 4:43-54.


Calle El Vergel #33, Santo Domingo, Repdblica Dominicana

Un Red-necked Phalarope (Phalaropus lobarus) en plumaje
de invierno fue observado el 19 de noviembre de 1995 en
estanques de salinas en Calderas, Barn. No se identificoe el
sexo. Seencontraba en unabandadacompuestadeindividuos
de Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca), Lesser Yel-
lowlegs (T.flavipes) y Short-billed Dowitchers (Limnodromus

griseas). El phalarope fue observado tambidn el dia 11 de
febrero de 1996 y el 24 de marzo del mismo aio en excursions
realizadas por el Club de Observadores de Aves Annabelle
Dod a la zona. El ave fue fotografiada en cada una de las
fechas en que fue vista. Es el primer report de esta especie
para la Reptiblica Dominicana.


Institute de Ecologra y Sistemdtica, MITMA, Carretera de Varona km 3-1/2 Boyeros,
Apanado Postal 8010. Codigo Postal 10800, La Habana 8. Cuba

Laimportanciade conocerel papel ecol6gico que desempefian
las ayes en los ecosistemas dondo habitan,. va mAs allt de
deEerrinarlaestructura y composici6n de laornitocenosis de
laque forman part, yaqueesconocidalainfluencia queestas
ejercen sobre el habitat, actuando come dispersoras de
semillas, polinozadoras, indicadoras de lacalidad ambientai
e incluso como biocontroladoras.
Existen varies ejemplosde c6mo gracias alapresencia de

Page 6

ciertas aves en algunos sembrados, ha sido possible ver
disminufdas la afectaciones producidas en estos cultivos, sin
necesidad de hacer use de plaguicidas, tales son los cases
reportados por Stewart (1973,1974) en plantaciones de mafz
(Zen maiz) y tabaco (Nicoriana tabacum).
Como part del studio ec61ogo-funcional que so ileva a
cabo en los pastizales del Instituto de Pastes y Forrajes del
Ministerio de la Agricultura, se comenzaron las captures dt
El Pitirre 9(3)

Garcia AlimentaciOn del Judio (continued)
las aves quo viven asociadas a este tipo de ecosistema con el
objetivo de estudiar sus contenidosestomacalesy ponertener
una idea de la funciin que realizan.
La experiencia se realize entire los meses dejulio de 1992
y marzo de 1993 en la localidad conocida como 'Niiia
Bonita" en cl municipio Bauta, provincial de La Habana. Los
pastes que mAs abundan en lazona son Sorghum sp., Pan icum
sp., Leucaena sp. y Braquiaria decumbens. Se capturaron un
total de 15 ejemplares de Judfo (Crotophaga ani) con escopet a
decartuchos de calibre 16. Los pesos de losanimales variaron
entire 85 y 110 g, con promedio do 95 g.
Gundlach (1893), ya habfa sefialado que el Judio anda
much per el suclo, donde se alimenta de grills y otros
insects, sin embargo los studios sabre los hbiteos
alimentarios de esta especie en Cuba soninsuficientes, Aunque
se sabe que consume arafias, frutos y semillas (Armas y
Alay6a 1986; M. Acosta y L, Mugica, com. pers,), los
insects constituyen su principal alimento (Kirkconnell et aL
Se determine que mds del 85% de la dieta est a constitufda
per material animal, estando el resto compuesta per semillas.
Los 6rdenes dc la clase Insectarepresentados son: Coleoptera
(20%), Homoptera (20%), Diptera (2%), Orthoptera (4%),
Lepidoptera (larvas. 37%), Mantodea (2%), Dermnap teran (3%),
Odonata (2%) e Himenoptera (2%), ademis de Araneae
La identificaci6n taxon6mica dc los ejemplares que so
encontraron en los contenidos estomacales se realize hastala
categorfaposible, pudidndose conocerlo siguiente: las families
mejor representadas dentro de los cole6pteros fueron
Chrysomelidae, determinAndose lapresenciade Leptinotarsa
undecemlineata y ademris Scarabaeidae. Entre los hom6pteros
se destacan miembros de la familiar Membracidae y
Cicadelidae, especifficamente Sticrocephala rotundata y
Prosapia bicinetafraterna, mientras que Neoconocephalus
rotundata fue muy abundante dentro de los ort6pteros.
Al parecer, entos grupos de insects son preferidos por el
Judfo, ya que en octubre de 1995 L. F. de Armas (cam. pets.)

pudo deteMrinar la presencia de ort6pteros, colc6pteros y
hemfpteros, ademis de frutos maduros de galan de dia
(Cesrium diurnum) en el contenido estomacal de un ejemplar
capturado en las innmediaciones del poblado de San Antonio
de los Bafios, provincia de La Habana.
Se conoce que muchas species de invertebrados son
plagas do cultivos y especfticamcnte para los pastes, existen
reports de los grupos que causan mayors dafios (Pazos
1989). Al comparar nuestros resultados con el listado ofrecido
per el referido author, se pudo observer que at menos el 50%
de los grupos sefialados come perjudiciales son consumnidos
per el Judfo, lo cual sugiere que esta especie realize una
important funci6n como biocontrolador en el area.
Deseo agradeceralaLic. Ileana FernAndez, del] Depto. de
Entomologfa del I. E. S.; su inestimable labor en la
determinaci6n de los insects, asfcomo al Dr. L. F. de Armas
y a los Licdos. Martin Acosta y Lourdes Mugica per dates


Armas, L. F. de y G. Alay6n. 1986. Depredadores y
parasitoides dc Argiope trifasciata (Araneae: Araneidae)
en el surde La Habana. Cien. Biol. 16:114-117.
Gundlach, J.1893. Ornitologfacubana.ImprentaLaModema,
La Habana. 328 pp.
Kirkeonnell, A., 0. H. Garrido, R.M. Posaday S. O. Cubillas.
1992. Los grupos tr6ficos de la avifauna cubana. Poeyana
Pazos, R. 1989. Plagas, enfermedades y malezas en pastos
(inddito). Institute de Pastas y Forrajes, Ministerio de la
Agriculture, La Habana. 23 pp.
Stewart, P. A. 1973. Starlings eat larvae on corn ears without
eating corn. Auk 90:911-912.
Stewart, P. A. 1974. Cases of birds reducing or eliminating
infestations of tobacco insects. Wilson Bull 87(1): 107-


GuY M. KmwAnt, RoSErT S. R. Wn.uAMS, AND, C-mus G. BRADSmAW'
'6 Connaughl Road= Norwich NR2 3BP, U.K., 1School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia,
Norwich NR4 7TJ, U.K., 16 Collel Walk Parkwood, Gillingham, Kent ME8 9QL, U.K.

The Palmchat (Duluhts dominicus) is confined to Hispaniola
and adjacent Gonave Island where it usually nests in large
communal structures in palm trees (as befits its name). In
montane areas, where there are fewer palms, the species
typically nests in much smaller colonies, with rarely more
than two pairs breeding in the same nest (Bond, Birds of he
West Indies, 5th Ed. Collins, London. 1985).
On 19 April 1996 the authors discovered a large communal
nest containing at least 50 pairs of Palmchats just below El
Aguacate military checkpoint, on the western bounary of
El Pitirre 9(3)

Sierra de Baoruco National Park in southwestern Dominican
Republic (although the nesting tree was actually within
neighboring Haiti). The nest was situated towards the crown
of a large, lone Cecropia peltara on the edge of premontane
cloud-forest at approximately 1300 m above sea level. Due
to its distance from the track and height above ground level,
it was impossible to obtain additional data (e.g., concerning
eggs or young). This would appear to be a remarkable
highland nesting concentration of this species.

Page 7


MIcaLm E_ BALrt
Division of Biological Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri 65211, USA

The House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) is listed as a rare
migrant on Andros Island, Bahamas (Dean and Osborne
1992). However, recent observations and conversations with
people on the island indicate that the species is locally
established as a permanent resident on Andros. During a
survey of North Andros on 30 July 1995, Matt Voelker, Ben
Frazier, and I observed a small flock of 12 House Sparrows
(4 males and 8 females and immatures) in the settlement of
Cargill Creek. We watched the flock and individuals with
binoculars for approximately 20 rnins. to within 15 min good
light. Although we did not see evidence of nesting, Clarence
Abedi and Chuck Cavender, employees at the U. S. Navy's
Atlantic Undersea Testing and Evaluation Center (AUTEC)
in nearby Fresh Creek, informed me that House Sparrows are
common nesters on the base, having been present since
approximately 1978. It is not clear if the Cargill Creek flock
represents an expansion of the Fresh Creek population or is
of independent origin.
House Sparrows probably arrived in the Bahamas as strays
on ships coming from Florida (Brudenell-Bruce 1975). The
first recent record for the species in the archipelago was in
1959 on New Providence (Bond 1963). Since then the House
Sparrow has been documented or become established on
several islands in the northern Bahamas, including Binmini
(Norton 1988), Grand Bahama (Bond 1965), Abaco (Norton
1984). Eleuthera (Weiss 1993), the Berry Islands (fide T,
White), and Andros, all of which are frequented by cargo and
pleasure boats from the United States. On North Andros,
House Sparrows are limited to AUTEC sites frequented by
ships from Florida (Cargill Creek is adjacent to an off-base
AUTEC installation). As populations have become established
in the Bahama islands, it is possible that dispersal between
islands has occurred via inter-island shipping traffic. On
North Andros, at least, this does not appear to have been the
case, since populations only occur on or near AUTEC sites.
Regardless of the means by which House Sparrows arrived
on the different islands of the Bahamas, there is legitimate
concern over the impact they may have on native birds. On
Walker's Cay, House Sparrows destroyed a Common Ground-
Dove (Columbinapasserina) nestby stealing nesting material

(Jackson and Jackson 1985)- Of greater concern however, is
the potential effect on cavity-nesters in the Bahamas (Jack-
son and Tate 1974). As evidence of this, nest boxes erected
forth endemic Bahama Swallow (Tachycinefacyaneoviridis)
on Andros were used by House Sparrows (C. Cavender, pers.
comm.). Currently, House Sparrows are apparently confined
to the environs of the AUTEC base and off-site installations
on Andros, whereas the Bahama Swallow naturally nests in
pine forests on the island. Nevertheless, the House Sparrow
populations on North Andros and other islands are worth
watching for evidence of expansion.
I thankBen Frazier, Prescott Smith, and Matt Voelker for
assisting with the survey of North Andros, and Forfar Field
Station for providing transportation. Tony White and H. P,.
Langridge made valuable comments on the manuscript.


Brudenell-Bruce, P. G. C. 1975. The Birds ofNew Providence
and the Bahama Islands. William Collins Sons and Co.
Ltd., London.
Bond, J. 1963. Eighth supplement to the Check-list of Birds
ofthe West Indies (1956). Acad. ofNat. Sci., Philadelphia.
Bond, 1965, Tenth supplement to the Check-list of Birds of
the West Indies (1956). Acad. of Nat. Sci., Philadelphia.
Dean, T. and D. Osborne. 1992. Checklist of birds of North
Andros Island, Bahamas. Unpublished report.
Jackson, J. A., andB. J. Schardien Jackson. 1985. Interactions
between House Sparrows and Common Ground-Doves on
Walker's Cay, Bahamas. Wilson Bull. 97:379-381.
Jackson, J. A., and J. Tate, Jr. 1974. An analysis of nest box
use by Purple Martins, House Sparrows, and Starling in
eastern North America. Wilson Bull. 86:435-449.
Norton, R. L. 1984. West Indies Region (Winter Season),
Am. Birds 38:362.
Norton, R. L. 1988. West Indies Region (Fall Season). Am.
Birds 42:144.
Weiss, R. A. 1993. Birding the Bahamas: Eleuthera Island,
Indiana Audubon Quart. 71(2):73-76.


Facultad de Biologia, Universidad de La Habana, Cuba

El Coco Rojo (Eudocimus ruber) es un hermoso ciconiformne
representado de forma natural en varias zonas de [a costa
atdlntica sudamericana y que vive casi siempre en lugares
costeros cercanos a estuarios manglares y cinnagas (Palmer
Page 8

1962). Es m uy parecido al Coco Blanco (E. a thus) en tamaio.
habitat y estructura, facilmente identificable por su color
En Cuba existen algunos reports visuals de ejemplares
El Pitirre 9(3)

Coco Rojo en Cuba (continued)
pertenecientes a esta especie, pero solo un ejemplat conservado
en la colccci6n Gundlach, actualmente un cl Instituto de
Ecologia y Sistemrtica, y del que existen dudas sobre su
procedencia original (Garrido y Garcia 1975)
En el present trabajo se nodifica la capture de un Coco
Rojo en la localidad conocida como "Los Aguachales" en la
Lagunade la Leche al norte de la provincia de Ciego de Avi a,
Cuba. La capture tuvo lugar el 4 de noviembre de 1983,
aproximadamentc a las 17:00 horas, cuando el ejemplar
volaba junto a un grupo de Cocos Blancos aparentemente
parapecnoctar en Cayo PAjaros, u n pequeoio islote de mangles
situado en el interior de la citada laguna,
Las medidas del ejemplar fueron: ala: 275 mm, tarso; 90
ramm, cola: 93 num, alto del pico: 19.6 mm y anchor del pico:
16.4 iam. El pico estaba truncado por el disparo cerca del
extreme distal, por lo que no se pudo rnedir el largo del
mismo, ni ]a longitud total del animal.

El ave, de sexo femenino y color rojo pilido que se
extendian las paras y part del pico. se encuentra depositado
en la colecci6n del Museoa de Historia Natural Felipe Poey
perteneciente a la facultad de Biologia de la Universidad de
la Habana.
Queremos porNltimo agradecer aMario Rejuwn Esquibel,
c olectordel ejemplar, por haberlo conservado en buen tstado
y haber cooperado de forma entusiasta con los autores para la
preparacidn de este trabajo.

LrrEmATvRA CrrADos

Garrido, 0, H., y F. Garcia Montafia. 1975. Catalog de las
ayes de Cuba. La Habana: Acad. Cienc. Cuba.
Palmer, R. 1962. Handbook of North American birds. Vol. 1,
New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press.


'Direccida Nacional de Ftora.y Fauna, Nueviar, Museo Nacional de Historia Natural, La Habana

Las listas fauntsicas compiladas de las cayerfas revisten una
notable importancia: no s6lo desde el punto de vista
distribucional de las species, sino tambi6n zoogeografico,
El conocimiento de la presencia de poblaciones de anfibios,
reptiles, aves, o mamfferos endeterminados cayos es necesario
para un studio poblacional, y puede determinar variaciones
subespecfficas, e incluso especificas entire forms endrmicas
o residents. Con ]a construcci6n de pedraplenes que
actualmente unen various cayos del Archipielago Sabana-
CamagOcy con la costa norte de Cuba, estos recuentos
faunisticos cobran mayor importancia.
El Archipidlago de Sabana-Camagiley, y especialmente
et segment oriental incluye los cayos mayores de nuestro
Archipidlago. De mayor a menor tamafio se hallan: Romano,
Coco, Sabinal y Guaj aba, aunque son de considerable tamai o
los cayos Cruz y Santa Marfa, cste dltimo en el extreme
occidental del segment de Camagiey.
Una relaci6n prActicamente complema de las Irabajos
faunfsticos realizados en las cayerfas, la ofrecen Garrido,
Estrada y Llanes (Poeyana 328:1-34, 1986). Precisamente
entire los cayos que cerencen do catas listna so hall Cayo
Sabinal. Es necesario bacer constar que el cuimulo mayor de
la informaci6n recopilada se debe a las investigaciones del
author senior, en base a cerca de 693 horas de observaci6n
realizadas durante 47 exploraciones llevadas a cabo entire
1981 y 1987. Garrido visit el cayo en dos ocasiones a
principios de la dccada del noventa- Bajo la relacidn de
species se incluye la de los pequelios cayuelos satdlites y
areas adyacentes con Cayo Sabinal,
CayoSabinal limitaal nortecon el Canal Viejode Bahamas,
al este con el canal de entrada de Ia Bahfa de Nuevitas y
El Pitirre 9(3)

Ensenada Sabinal, mientras que al oeste, limita con el canal
de Carabela, el cual lo separa de Cayo Guajaba. Sabinal
ocupa la posicidn mas oriental del Archipidlago Sabana-
Camagiecy, y en su relieve se observan superficies llanas,
pocas elevaciones y un suelo poco profundo de origen calizo
(Ndifez, Geograffade Cuba, 1972). El clima es del tipo Cuba
oriental, segdn (Sameky Travieso, Climaregiones de Cuba.
Revista Agricultura 2(1):5-23, 1968) con cuatro perlodos
anuales y la pluviosidadvarfa entire 765 y 1138 mm anuales,
mientras que la temperature fluctda anualmentb entire los
25.39C y los 27.7C.
Las aves quesereportan son fundamentalmente el resultado
de observaciones visuales. Nos auxiliamos de binoculares,
telescopic, audici6n de la vocalizaci6n, fotograffas y colecta
en los distintos habitats. El orden sistemrtico de las aves
adoptado en el present trabaj o salvo algunas excepci ones, es
el seguido en el Check-list ofNorthAmericanBirds (American
Ornithologists'Union, sextaedicidn, 1983)y en el Catalogue
of the Cuban Birds (Garrido y Kirkconnell, inddito),
En total se reportan 141 species como habitantesde Cayo
Sabinal (Table 1),Es interesantc dcstacar, que c1 ZorEialAeal
(Turdus plumbeus) esta representado por la raza occidental
rubripes; el Canario de Manglar (Dendroica petechia) por la
razade Los manglaresgundlachi; y elChichinguaco(Quiscalus
n iger) por la raza oriental gundlach i. Aunque no reportados,
es muy probable que sea reside nte el Guabairo (Caprimulgus
cubanensis) reportado de Cayo Coco; asf comao durante las
migraciones, aIn Golondrina Azul (Progne subis), y el
Querequetd Americano (Chordeiles minor). No secolectaron
ejemplares de Butorides virescens para determinar la raza;
pero indudablemente, ambas subespecies habitan el cAyo, la
Page 9

Leal y Garrido -Aves y reptiles de Cayo Sanibal (continued)
resident maculatus, y la norteamericana virescens coma
visitante internal. PFor el hecho de haberse encontrado
anidando la raza norteamericana carolinensiss) del Pclfcano
(Pelecanus occidenfalis), es de esperar qua esta forma se
encuentre tambidn en Cayo Sabinal con la raza occidentalis.
Otras novedades de interds constituyen el hallazgo del
Estercorario (Catharacta skua), de la Reinica (Coereba
flaveola) y elsegundo reportedelanidificacidnde Charadrius
alexandrinus tenuirostris para Cuba y la primer para un
Han sido descritas algunas razas geogrificas de aves para
los cayos Santa Marfay Cayo Coco. Otras poblaciones cstan
pendientes de studio, pues se han detectado variaciones
geograficas, par lo que se hace imprescindible conocer todas
las poblaciones que viven en estos cayos para liegar a
conclusions definitivas. Pueden existir tres variances: a)
algunas poblacioncs de los cayos de Camagiley no varian en
relaci6n con las poblaciones cubanas; b) se diferencian
subespecfficamente en dichoarchipidlago;yc)se diferencian
subespecfficamente s61o en determinados cayos. Estas
variances son tambidn aplicables a los reptiles (Table 1).
Es interesante destacar, que el i nico ejcmplar de Ameiva
auberi colectado en Cayo Guajaba cs unjuvenil que parece

dircrenciarse de la raza sublesta de Cayo Sabinal: y dos
ejemplares colectados en Cayo Coco difieren de la Mza
orlandoi descrita para los cayos Frances y Santa Maria. Con
antelaci6n, Garrido y Jaume (CatAlogo descriptive de los
anfibias y reptiles de Cuba, Acta Vertebrata 11(2):5-128,
1984), habia asignado a la raza orlanuoi (en base a material
alcoh6lico), las poblaciones de Cayo Coco, For otro lado
Leiocephalus strictigasterde Cayo Guajaba ha sido asignado
a larazaseprentrionalisquevivccnloscayos mds occidentaies,
y no a parasphex de Cayo Sabinal. La poblaci6n del chipaja
(Atnolis equestris) constituye una marcada subespecie queno
ha sido adn publicada. Es inicresante destacar, que esta raza
de Cayo Sabinal es mTns afin a las poblaciones de Camagiley
y del norte de Holguif, que alas razas (a6tn no descritas) que
viven en los cayos Romano, Guajaba y Coco; esta ltima
much mAs affn a la raza potior de Cayo Santa Maria.

AGRADECIMIENTO. Quercmos agradecer a las autoridades
del Puerto de Guardafronteras de Cayo Sabin aly a la Empresa
dc Flora y Fauna tanto de Nuevimas comoa de la Habana por las
atenciones brindadas durante nuestras visits al cayo. Asf
coma a Zuzel Harach y Mada T. Mayedo poara colaboracidn

Table 1. Avyes y reptiles de Cayo Sabinal, Archipitalgo de Sabana-Camagfley, Cuba,

Nombre t6cnico Nombre vulgar

Nombre t&nico Nombre vulgar

Tachybaprus dominicus
Padilymbus podiceps
Phaedhon lepturus
Pelecanus occidentalis
Phalacrocorax warims
Anhinga anhinga
Fregata magnificens
Ardea herodia
Casmemrdius albus
Egretta rhula
Egrena caerulea
Egreata rufesceens
Egrettla tricolor
Bbublcum ibis
Butorides virescens
Nycticorax nycticorax
Nycticorax violaceus
Mycteria americana
Eudocimeus albums
Eutdocimnu ruber
Ajain jojaja
Phoenicopteers ruber
DeLndrocygna bicolor
Dendrocyna arborea
Anas discors
Anns bahamensis
Aras americana
Anas clypeata

Zaramagull6n Chico
Zaramagulldn Grande
Caora de Mar
Garza Blanca
Garza Azul
Garza Roja
Garza de Vienire Blanco
Garcita Bucycra
GuanabW de la Florida
GuanabS Real
Coco Prieto
Coco Blanco
Coco Rojo
Pato de la Florida
Pato de Bahamas
Pato Lavanco
Pato Cuchareta

Aix sponsa
Ayrha collaris
Oxywra jamnaicensis
Catharfes aura
Rostrhamus sociabilis
Accipiter srialus
Bureo platypterus
Bureogalus gundlachii
Pandion haliaetus
Poyborus cheriway
Falco peregrinus
Faleo columbarius
Falco sparverius
Colinus virginianus
Aramus guarauna
Ratius longirostris
Gallinula chloropus
Fuxica amnericana
Jacana spinosa
Charadrius semipalmatus
Charadrius alexandrinus
Charadrius wilsonia
Charadrius vociferus
Pluvialis squatarola
Areroria interpres
Himantopus mexicanns
Tringa melanoleuca

Pato Cabez6n
Pato Rojo
Aura Tinosa
Gavilin Caracalero
GavilAn dcl Monte
Gavildn Bobo
Gavildn Batista
Haledn de Patos
Halconcito de Palomas
Gallinuela de Manglar
Gallareta de Pico Colorado
Gallareta dc Pico Blanco
Fnailecillo Semipalmeado
Frailecillo Blanco
Tftere Playero
Tftere Sabanero
Zarapico Paiarnarillo
Zarapico Patiamarillo

El Pitirre 9(3)

Page 10

Leal y Garrido Avery reptilex de Cayp Sanibal (Table 1, continued)

Nombre tdcnico Nombre vulgar

Nombhrc t6cnico Nombre vulgar

Actiris macularia
Caloptropwrus semnipalmatus
Gallinago gallinago
Calidris minutilla
Cadtaracta skua
Larus argentalus
Larus atricilla
Sterna hirundo
Sterna dougallif
Serna fuscata
Sterna maxima
Columba leucocephala
Columba inornata
Zenaida macroura
Zenaida aurwia
Zenaida asiatica
Columbina passerina
Georrygon chrysia
Coccyzus minor
Coccyziu americanus
Saurothera merlini
Crotophaga ani
Tyzo alba
Glaucidium siju
Gymnaglaux lawrencii
Speoryto cunicularia
Asio flammeus
Chordeiles gundlachi
Chlorostilbon ricordii
Priotelus remnunrs
Ceryle alcyon
Todus multicolor
Colaptes auraftus
Melanerpes superciliaris
Sphyrapicus various
Xiph idiopicus percussus
Tyrannus dominicensis
Tyrannus caudifasciaius
Mylarchus sagrae
Contopus caribaeus
Tachycineta bicolor
Progne cryptoleuca
Corvus nasicus
Mimus polyglottos
Dumetella carohnensas

Zarapica Manchado
Zarapico Real
Gaviota Comda1
Gaviota Rosada
Gaviola Monja Prieta
Gaviola Real
Torcaza Cabcciblanca
Torcaza Boba
Paloma Rabiche
Paloma Aliblaaca
Sijid Platanero
Sijd Cotunto
Sijd de Sabana
Martfn Pescador
Carpintero Escapulario
Carpintero Churroso
Carpintero Jabado
Carpintero de Paso.
Carpintcro Verde
Pidrre Abejero
Pitirre Guatibere
Bobito Grande
Bobito Chico
Golondrina de Arbotles
Golondrina Azul Cubana
Golondrina de Cuevas
Cao Montero
Zortal Gia[

Turdus phumbeus
Calharus ustulatus
Polioptila lembeyei
Vireo griseus
Vireo gundlachit
Vireo alliloquus
Miniorifa varia
Panda americana
Dendroica petechia
Dendroica magnolia
Dendroica tigrina
Dendroica caeridescens

Dendroica caeridea
Dendroica dominica
Dendroica discolor
Dendroica palmarum
Seiurus aurocapillus
Seirrus noveboracensis
Setophaga ruticilia
Spindalis zena
Quiscalus niger
Dives atroviolacea
Icterus dominicensis
Agelaius humeralis
Dolichonyx oryzivorus
Sturnella magna
Molothrus bonariensis
Pheucticus ludovicianms
Guiraca caendea
Passerina cyanea
Passerina cifis
Tiaris olivacea
Tiaris canora
Melopyrrha nigra

Anolis jubar caneus
Anolis sagrei sagrei
Ameiva auberi sublesta

Zorzal Real
Tordo de Espalda Olivada
Vireo de Ojo Btanco
Juan Chivf
Bijirita Trcpadora
Bijirita Chica
Canaria de Manglar
Bijirita Magnolia
Bijirita Atigrada
Bijirita Azul dI Garganta
Bijirita Azulosa
Bijirita dc Garganta Amarilla
Bijirita Coma n
Senorita del Monte
Selorita de Manglar
Pajaro Vaquero
Tomcgufn de la Tierra
Tomeguin del Pinar

Leiocephalus carinaons ssp.
Leiocephalus strictigaster parasphex
Alsophis cantherigerus ssp.
Antillophis andreae ssp.
Nerodiafasciata compresicauda

El Pitirre 9(3)

Page II



Deparonent of Biological Sciences, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, Mississippi 39762

"Ail night long we heard birds passing. We must be
very close to landfall, thanks be to God"t

So noted Christopher Columbus on Tuesday, 9 October
1492, as he neared landfall in the Bahamas. He and his crew
were heartened and led to land by migrant birds. What would
have happened had Columbus arrived in the New World at
some time other than the peak of migration say in mid-
summer or mid-winter, when land birds would not have been
encountered at sea? Columbus' crew was disgruntled and
anxious to turn back. Would he have turned back without
discovering the New World? Would the course of history
have been drastically changed?
To Columbus and his crew, land birds at sea were the
ultimate in environmental indicators. They carried a message,
not of hope, but of promise. They were at the threshold of a
world unknown in Europe.
Imagine the excitement among the crew the morning when
land first came into view! If only Columbushad known what
lay beyond to the west and north after so many weeks
at sea that he was only on the fringe of discovery. If only
our ancestors had recognized what a fragile and important
fringe it was and is..
What I want to share with you are some thoughts on the
changes that have occurred in the Caribbean in the last 500
years as they relate to birds. I want to discuss (1) other roles
of birds as environmental indicators; (2) the roles of the
Caribbean and Bahamas relative to the development and
maintenance of the North American avifauna; (3) the need for
sense of history and environment in studying birds; (4) the
need for understanding that things are not always as they
seem: (5) the complexity of the interrelationships of birds and
other components of their ecosystems, in particular, the
significance of recognizing and maintaining biodiversity, (6)
the great interdependence of birds and humans; and finally
(7) how "exploitation" isn't always a bad word.
The Bahamas that Columbus found, the Cuba that
Columbus visited, were peopled by cultures long gone today,
They were clothed in forests the likes of which we have never
seen. They had avifaunas quite different trom those we know,
There were no Budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus) from
Australia breeding in the wild in Puerto Rico, nor Java
Finches (Padda oryzivora) from Indonesia, nor Monk
Parakeets (Myopsitta monachus) from Argentina, nor Rock
Doves (Columba livia) from Europe, nor Cattle Egrets
(Butbulcus ibis) from South Africa, The first three species,
and many others, have been introduced through the pet trade.
Humans have an affinity for birds. Their bright colors, their
often melodious songs, the ability of some to mimic human
voice, their parental care, and other behaviors attract us to
Page 12

them. But such introduced species compete with native
species and may introduce diseases and parasites to them.
The fourth species, the Cattle Egret, which is now found
throughout the Americas, we've been told got here on its
own. Well, perhaps. But it is unlikely to have become
established after it got here had it not been for the clearing of
the forests and introduction of horses and cattle by Europeans.
A similar link to such habitat changes could be drawn for the
cowbirds that have expanded northward through the Cari bbean
to parasitize species that have never before been exposed to
I'd like to diverge a moment now to tell you of a personal
experience that has forever influenced my understanding of
biogeography. An experience that I think also has particular
relevance to the expansion of Cattle Egrets and other birds.
I'm a pilot. Twenty years ago as I was completing my pilot
training, I went up for one last session with my flight
instructor. Knew what was coming; it seems to be traditional
in pilot training: when we were about five miles from the
airport and at an altitude of about 3000 feet, the instructor
reached over and turned off the engine.
"Now what are you going to do?" he asked.
I checked my altitude and looked at the runway five miles
"I've got enough altitude. I can land back at the airport."
"Let's see you do it." he said.
Atthe time Iwas overbare agricultural land.J put the plane
in a glide path that would easily take me to the end of the
runway, and everything went smoothly as I descended through
2000 feet However, between me and the airport was a block
of forest that was about a mile wide. As soon as I got over the
forest, the plane sank rapidly, losing enough altitude that I
was worried about making it to the grass near the runway,
Fortunately we made it safely-but barely to the runway 1
What had gone wrong? I had forgotten an important lesson
about the relationships of our atmosphere to land. But I had
now learned that lesson very well from experience. Bare I and
heats up rapidly in the sun and reflects heat back into the
atmosphere. That heat rising off the land was a thermal
pustung up on my plane and slowing its rate of descent. A
forest, however, absorbs the sun's energy. The shaded land
was not heated, and there wereno thermals, so the plane
descended rapidly.
The eastern half of North America was once almost
completely forested such that thermals would have been rare.
The same was true of most Caribbean islands. In the past five
hundred years, however, we have cleared most of the forests
and, indeed, have often replaced them with concrete and
asphalt that heat up quicker and reflect even more heat than
bare soil. Thermals abound during the day. Just think what all
El Pitirre 9(3)

Jackson Interactions and Interdependence on a Fraile' Fringe (cont ined)

these thermals do. Hot air causes evaporation of moisture
from the surface, making the land more arid,
In flying to the Bahamas or any Caribbean island, you may
notice that clouds are most concentrated over land, The bare
land hcats up and dries out fast; the hot air over the land rises,
pulling in water vapor from the sea. As the warm moist air
rises, it cools to condense and form clouds. The more bare
land there is, the more hot air there is, the greater the updrafts,
and the greater the height and magnitude of the clouds.
These high white pillars of clouds over land are visible for
tens, often hundreds of miles. They are guideposts in the sky
that once aided sailors and almost certainly aid migrant or
dispersing birds. Perhaps our clearing of the forests and the
resultant increase in thermals and clouds over land have
facilitated dispersal of these invading birds.
Aside from these influences, however, there may be more
important signs that can be read in these clouds. Surely such
massive clearing of the land that we have done is having a
profound influence on the Caribbean and North American
climates in which we and all of the creatures of our ecosys-
tems live. Are range expansions of these birds indicators of
global warming problems resulting in part from reflection of
solar heat back into the atmosphere? Are they indicators of
changing weather patterns, perhaps more violent storms
associated with these changing air movements?
Today as we consider the migrant birds that Columbus and
his crew saw, we understand the special significance of the
Bahamas and the islands of the Caribbean as a fragile fringe
of habitat jewels supporting passing migrants, wintering
birds from North America, and an incredible array of unique
island species. The fragility of this fringe is evidenced in
many ways: the small land areaof each island, the vulnerability
of the islands to tropical storms, the vulnerability of the
islands to human disturbance. But no evidence is so clear as
that provided by birds. Not only do the islands tenuously
support some of the world's most beautiful birds, but also
some of the world's most endangered ones: the Bahama
Parrot (Amazona leucocephata), Kirtland's Warbler
(Dendroica kirtlandis), Puerto Rican Parrot (Amazona vittata)
- and yes, we hope, even the Ivory-billed Woodpecker
(Campephilus principalis).
Just as Columbus before us, today we also recognize value
in the birds around us. We appreciate the swallows as they
capture flying insects, and the cuckoos that consume swarms
ofeaterpiUars. We acknowledge the role of hummingbirds in
pollinating some favored flowers and fruit crops. We applaud
the role of finches in consuming weed seeds. We enjoy
hunting game birds and the companionship of pet birds. We
find aesthetic value in the songs and brilliant colors of so
many birds. But there are other values to be realized.
Migrant shorebirds, such as Ruddy Turnstones (Arenaria
interpres) on Walker's Cay at the northern end ofthefB ahamas,
need a healthy" shoreline" ecosystem all along their migratory
pathway and throughout wintering areas. We too need that
ecosystem to be healthy. Nowhere is our need greater than in

El Pitirre 9(3)

the island ecosystems of the Bahamas and Caribbean where
humans live at this interface between land and water. Shord-
birds can be indicators of health or problems along these
Humans in the Bahamas and Caribbean depend on the sea
for food as do a number of bird species. We once looked at
birds such as cormorants, pelicans, and terns is competitors.
Now we know that they play a much more significant role as
environmental indicators that are more sensitive to chemical
pollutants than we are. These birds suffered greatest during
theDDTera, but their suffering warned us of the danger to our
own health.
Land birds can tell us a great deal too. Yes, the species
native to each island we know were present. But where? In
what numbers? In what habitats? When we speak today of
distribution patterns and habitat preferences of birds, we
speak of the present To say that a bird species prefers this or
that habitat is only to say that it prefers that habitat over
whatever else is currently available. Perhaps the habitat being
used today is only marginal in comparison to what once was
The Hairy Woodpecker (Picoides villosus) is a species
found throughout North America. It also occurs naturally in
the Bahamas on Andros, Grand Bahama, Abaco, and New
Providence where it is found primarily in pine forest What
has happened to Hairy Woodpecker populations since these
forests have been cut and pines have been left only to smaller
patches of younger trees?
To what extent do the Hairy Woodpeckers and other forest
birds control forest insect pests? If the birds were gone, what
would be the economic costof timber resources lost in insects
and insect spread diseases?
Why is the Hairy Woodpecker so i mited to the pine forests
in the Bahamas, while in the eastern United States itis most
often found in hardwoods? Is it a result of competition for
food or nest sites with the West Indian Woodpecker
(Melanerpes superciliaris)? Why is the West Indian
Woodpecker on Abaco so closely associated with humans
and exotic trees? Is it simply because these are the only big
trees around? In Cuba this woodpecker seems to use a much
wider variety of habitats. How has the Jamaican Woodpecker
(Melanerpes radiolatus) fared as its forests have been
fragmented and reduced to younger trees and many exotics?
The Ivory-billed Woodpecker of the southeastern United
States and Cuba provides an instructive example of how
habitat destruction by man can alter our perception of a
species habitat needs. In the southeastern United States, the
Ivory-bill was once widespread, although by the late 1930s it
was only known from riverine swamp forest in northeast
Louisiana. It was studied there extensively by James Tanner
and we have come to think of itas a swamp forest bird. Early
literature and data from specimen records, however, tell us
that it also fed and nested in pine forest. We knew the Ivory-
bill was threatened by habitat destruction even before 1912
when a children's book. "Bird Children," by Elizabeth Gor-

Page 13

Jackson Interactions and Inferdependenie, on a Fragile Fringe continuedd)

don, had the Ivory-bill proclaim:
"Dear me!
They're cutting down my family tree;
Where can I live, I'd like to know,
If men will spoil the forest so?"
In North America, the last of the Ivory-bill's habitats to
disappear were the virgin swamp forests such as where
Tanner studied the birds,
In Cuba, as in the United States, the Ivory-bill also once
occurred in both old growth hardwoods and pines, and it
disappeared as those forests were cut. There, however, the
last of the virgin forests to be cut were the montane pines and
that's where the Ivory-bill survived. Thus we have come to
think of the Cuban and American Ivory-bills as being differ-
ent in their choice of habitats, In truth, what was important
about the habitat ofboth birds was not whether the habitat was
pine or hardwood forest, but whether or not it had recently
dead, large, old trees that supported populations of their food
supply large Cerambycid beetles. When the big trees went,
the big beetles went. When the big beetles and the big old
trees it needed as nest sites were gone, the Ivory-billed
Woodpecker could not survive. Certainly the story is even
more complex, but the message here is that such critical
interconnections among habitats, food supplies, and birds are
likely the rule rather than the exception. We think we know
a great deal about our birds, but we have just begun to
Another woodpecker illustrates well the complexities of
interconnections between a species and its ecosystem and
changes wrought by man. The Red-cockaded Woodpecker
(Picoides borealis) does have a Caribbean connection,
although it occurs only in the southeastern United States. It
was described for science by a French merchant from what is
Haiti today. Viellot called the bird "Picus borealis"- northern
woodpecker not because he found it in boreal Canada, but
because where he found it when he was on a trip to the United
States was indeed "north" relative to his Caribbean home.
The Red-cockaded Woodpecker got its English common
name from Alexander Wilson who saw the birds' large white
cheek patches and the tiny tuft of red feathers on males and
was reminded of the cockades the decorations -- onthe hats
of American Revolutionary War soldiers.
The Red-cockaded Woodpecker is a bird of old growth
pine forests and a species that is endangered, like many birds
of the Caribbean, because of the clearing of its forests.
Human needs have conflicted with bird needs. In conciliatory
efforts to help the species, we began by leaving their nest
trees, but cutting the forests around them. But obviously that
wasn't enough, because the birds had to have a place to find
food also. In addition, cleared areas attract predators such as
the American Kestrel (Falcosparverius), so the woodpeckers
were soon gone from such areas.
What more did they need? The Red-cockaded Woodpecker
requires old trees in which to excavate nest and roost cavities
-living pines that are safe from lightning started fire in their

ecosystem. We know now that they need these old trees
because they need the presence of the red heart fungus to
soften the wood to make it easier to excavate- Nest and roost
cavities usually are shaped to follow the contours of the
fungal decay.
What if we protected the forests from fire? Then the
ecosystem changes and becomes unsuitable for the birds.
One of the biggest enemies of southern pine ecosystems -
and indeed of Caribbean pine ecosystems- has bee n"Smokey
the Bear" who personifies our attitudes and actions that
consider fire as "evil" and "destructive." Without fire the
pine ecosystem becomes a hardwood ecosystem. In the pine
ecosystems fire kills hardwood trees, but pines can survive
because of fire resistant bark and other adaptations. When fire
passes through alongleafpine(Pinuspalustris) forest, young
pines are also reduced to charred needles. But part the charred
needles and you find a living, growing tip inside. The
competing hardwoods are gone, their ashes fertilize the soil,
and the young pine is ready to grow rapidly in the sunshine,
It will have company too, because the heat from the fire
causes pine cones to open, dropping their seeds to the fertili zed
So foresters today leave the birds' nest trees; they provide
fire at frequent intervals; and they leave additionalpine forest
for the birds to forage in. But there are still problems due to
lack of understanding of the complexity of the interactions of
the birds and their environment
In good habitat male and female Red-cockaded
Woodpeckers feed together, but in different places on the
same trees. Males tend to forage high in the tree and more on
the branches; females primarily on the trunk below the
branches. By maintaining these differences they are not
competing for food and it is believed their pair bond may be
stronger. In a study we did on a military base in Louisiana
where the Army wanted to build a new tank range, we found
the birds favored their typical feeding sites: males high and on
branches, females low on the trunk. We also found that their
home ranges were about 250 acres typical for the species
- and that males and females each weighed about 50 g.
Then the army constructed their tank range, in the process
taking out all pines bigger than 10 inches in diameter other
than the cavity trees and a small buffer around them. What
was left was still a pine forest, but the forest wasn't the same.
The trees averaged much smaller and were more widely
dispersed. The males had plenty of branches to feed on; the
females, however, had no large pine trunks to forage on. The
home ranges of the birds expanded from 250 acres to more
than 1000 acres. They had to travel farther to find enough to
eat. In addition, the average weight of males declined slightly
to about 49 g; that of females, however, declined to nearly 43
g. The different habitat needs of the female meant a different
effect on the female! The females were starving to death.
Ultimately the birds disappeared from the area.
How many Caribbean birds do you know well enough to
know that needs of males and females, juveniles and adults.

El Pitire 9(3)

Page 14

Jackson Interactions and Interdependene orn n Fragile Fringe (con rinued)

are not the same? Get close to your birds. Take notes.
Quantify your observations. With knowledge comes
understanding. Look for interconnections.
It was understanding that was needed by NASA Inast year
when the space shuttle Discovery was grounded because
Yellow-shafted Flickers (Colaptes auratus) had pecke d holes
in the foam covering of the main shuttle fuel tank, causing
over a million dollars in damage and delays. I was called to
help them solve the problem. When I arrived. I found the
depth of their understanding was reflected in signs indicating
"no flickers allowed," simple solutions such as "kill the
birds," or "move the birds," and in the use of scare devices,
The problem seemed to be a habitat problem. Nicely
mowed fields near the launch pad were perfect for the
ground-feeding flickers and there were nest sites nearby. So
why did the birds peck holes in the shuttle fuel tank? One
contributing factor may have been the col or of the foam on the
fuel tank it was the same as that of the upper parts of palms
in which flickers there were nesting. So why didn't these
flickers nest in palms?
The real problem I believe was an exotic species: the
European Starling (Stumus vulgaris). We saw several flocks
of forty or more juvenile starlings. They had obviously had a
successful year Starlings are well known as usurpers of
flicker nest cavities and I believe that as fast as the flickers
excavated a nest cavity, starlings would take it over. The end
result was that the flickers ended up at the space shuttle as a
last resort.
The answerseemed simple, but not withoutunderstanding.
Control the starlings in the launch pad area and the flickers
will nest in their traditional sites. Unfortunately, that wasn't
"understanding" enough. A female flicker was captured on a
nest with eggs in a palm 2.1 miles from the space shuttle and
it was going to be removed. I convinced NASA that a bird on
a nest with eggs won't be spending its time excavating and
that a bird 2.1 miles away was not at all likely to be the bird
that excavated on the shuttle fuel tank. The bird was returned
to its nest.
I know that you love birds -- or you probably wouldn't be
reading this. But there are many from theBahamas, Caribbean
islands, and North America who do not share that love.
Indeed, to some humans, birds just get in the way. In
Mississippi I see bumper stickers that say: "When you run out
of toilet paper, use a woodpecker."
I also see t-shirts that say:
"Save a ruiester, kill i woodpecker Red-cockaded
There is a lack of understanding! What is the answer?
Take a popular song from the United Statesin the 1950s as
your guide. I loved the song as a teenager and find new
meaning in it today. It was sung by a group known as the
"Teddy Bears" and it began like this:
"To know, know. know him is to love, love, love him..,"
The message is simple: we don't appreciate what we don't
know about. The cliche "Out of sight, out of mind" also fits.

Education is the key. If we can teach people to appreciate the
diversity of birds around them, if we can teach them the
complexity of interconnections between birds and their
environment, then they can appreciate the birds and will want
to protect them. A positive educational message can do much
more than a negative "don't!"
In the Bahamas, the Bahamas National Trust and others
have done a wonderful job with positive education aboutthe
Bahama Parrot. St. Lucia is doing a similar wonderful job
with educating people about the St. Lucia Parrot (A.
versicolor). Similar efforts work hand-in- hand with providing
artificial nest sites for the Puerto Rican Parrot and the Cuban
Parrot (A leucocephala).
But what about all those other native species that are not yet
on the critical list? The hard work is bringing a species back
from the brink of extinction. Conservation efforts should
begin before your species are on the way out. Focus on
Bahamian and Caribbean endemics and their habitats. Ex-
ploittheir novelty. This is where exploitation can be positive.
Promote the uniqueness of your ecosystems to attract
ecotourism. Many islands have species unique to them or to
a small number of islands. One whole family of birds, the
todies, is found only in the Caribbean.
To effectively exploit the unique ecosystems oftheBahamas
and Caribbean, you must study them, understand them, and
appreciate them. By studying healthy populations we may be
able to truly understand the interconnections that are vital to
a species' survival. By the time a species is endangered,
evidence of those interconnections the web of
interdependence that holds the ecosystem together may
already be lost.
In Cuba posters I saw proclaimed that "Care of the flora and
fauna is everyone's responsibility." It is. And we should
share in thatresponsibility and in developing an understanding
of that responsibility. If you are a bird bander or just a bird
watcher, share your efforts with children. Remember: 'To
know them is to love them." That applies to all-to children
and to birds. Teaching our children to know and appreciate
nature provides our best hope for Bahamian, Caribbean, and
North American ecosystems for the future.
Tourism is vital to Bahamian and Caribbean economies
and can bevital to birdconservation too. It variesin importance
from island to island, but can bring in conservation dollars
and also change attitudes towards habitats and birds.
Ecotourism is growing in popularity in part as a result of
conservation efforts and education to date. The excellent
field guides available for many island nations certainly pave
the way. Postage stamps featuring birds also aid both the
economy and the educational message, but can best serve the
islands by focusing on endemic species and their ecosystems.
We can't protect our birds with just what I call "techno
fixes." They can't survive with just artificial housing and
bird feeders. They need much more. They need dithe natural
biodiversity of a healthy ecosystem.
To end, I would like to use an analogy I used in talking

El Pitirre 9(3)

Page 15

Jackson lteractions and Interdependence an a Fragile Fringe (continued)

about biodiversity in another island nation on the opposite
side of the world from the Caribbean -- Indonesia. There, as
in some Caribbean communities, the traditional homes are
built on stilts to protect them from high water. I ask you, as
I asked them, to consider such a traditional home as an
ecosystem and the pilings that support it as the species in that
ecosystem. We can remove one piling and the house wi il still
stand. Perhaps we can remove two pilings. Maybe three-
Four. But which ones? It is often difficult to know which
piling or which species in an ecosystem -- is important to
stability. We don't always understand how all the pilings- all
the species work together to provide a stable environment.

They are collectively so much more than their sum
individually. And if we remove the wrong piling, or if a
hurricane or other stress comes, what will happen to the
Our ecosystems the ones we live in- are our homes. They
are supported and stabilized by biodiversity, The
interconnections among species are often initrdependencies,
We are dependent on other species and they are dependent on
us. If we remove the wrong "piling," or too many, under stress
our "homes" could coll apse. Let us work together to maintain
strong "homes" for ourselves and our birds.



The overall objective of the workshop was to assess the
significant wildlife policy and legislation issues in the
Caribbean and to elicit comments and recommendations
from the workshop participants on how to most effectively
use or revise existing policy and law to protect biodiversity.
The workshop focused on the need for further review of
the relative role of law and policy. What can effective wildlife
policy do? How can it mos t effectively articulate governmen-
tal intention with regard to the conservation of resources and
provide an integrated perspective on the management of
resources? Ho wcan policy resolve inter-ministerial conflicts
and establish political will for implementation of nature

1. There is a need to publish and publicize existing policy and
legislation to educate the public about the requirements of
law and regulations.
2. Much creative use can be made of existing policy and
legislation, including common-law principles, to achieve
biodiversity protection.
3. Public and governmental support, generally referred to as
"political will," is crucial to the success of biodiversity
protection policy and legislative efforts.
4. The regulation of private land for biodiversity protection
poses many challenges in the Caribbean because ofdiffering
concepts of the rights of landowners and the powers of
government to control land uses,
5. There are significant variations in the hunting regulations
and from country-to-country in the Caribbean.
6. There is a need for post-disaster (hurricanes, etc.) wildlife
7. Land use planning and zoning are generally not well-
developed but are essential for long-term biodiversity
protection in the Caribbean.
8. Confusion exists regarding whether one law is superior to
Page 16

another with regard to the management of resources (e.g., is
mining allowed in national parks?).
9. Confusion also exists as to the proper role of non-govern-
mental organizations (NGOs) relative to the holding of land
for biodiversity protection purposes.

1. There is a strong need for (and the SCO supports) public
access to the biodiversity policy and law-making process,
including prior consultation and review of draft policy and
2. Further review and research is needed on how to develop
the "political will" to promote governmental policy, law, and
enforcement for biodiversity protection. The SCO should
consider holding a workshop on this topic at its next meeting.
3. Further review should be conducted of the rights of gov-
ernment to control private land uses forbiodiversity protection.
4. Caribbean countries should attempt to coordinate and
make uniform their bunting and other biodiversity protection
requirements to minimize the differences between countries.
5. Caribbean countries should explore a variety of funding
mechanisms to support biodiversity protection, including
dedicated revenue for habitat conservation, fees, licenses,
taxes, and credits.
6. Caribbean countries should understand the benefits and
obligations of relevant international conventions and revise
their laws and policies accordingly.
7. The SCO members should continue to explore whether
there is an ideal structure for governmental ministries for
biodiversity protection.
3, The SCO should continue to review Caribbean wildlife
policy and legislation to identify common issues and problems
in the preparation and dissemination of wildlife policy and in
the drafting and enforcement of wildlife legislation, including

El Pitirre 9(3)



Representative For the Cayman Islands

Currently 4.8% of the combined land areas of the Cayman
Islands are under some degree of environmental protection,
as follows:
la. NATioNAL TRusT PaoprRTIEs, protected in perpetuity
under strong legislation: a total of 511 ha (1263 acres) as
of July 1996, including
Salina Reserve, Grand Cayman.-252 ha (623 acres)
of primary habitats, including fresh and brackish
wetlands and dry evergreen woodland supporting
resident and migratory birds, also endangered rock
iguanas, bats, and endemic flora; no public access.
Iguana release program in progress.
Mastic Reserve, Grand Cayman.- 118 ha (292 acres) of
primary dry evergreen woodland have been purchased
by the National Trust of the Cayman Islands, out of a.
target area of 405 ha (1000 acres). On-going long-term
fund-raising and land purchase efforts are underway to
secure the remaining 286 ha (708 acres). The Mastic
Trail, a traditional footpath through the Reserve, has
been restored by the Trust and RARE, and a natural
history warden has been trained to provide income from
low-volume guided tours since December 1995. A
maximum capacity of ca. 300 walkers per month will
generate netrcvenu for reserve managementand further
land acquisition.
Booby Pond Nature Reserve, Litte Cayman, and
Ramsar site.-55 ha (135 acres) are currently Trust-
owned out of a total Sanctuary area of 82 ha (202 acres).
The privately owned sections are protected under the
Animals Law, 1976.
Brac Parrot Reserve, Cayman Brac.-73 ha (180 acres)
ofdry evergreen woodland, including extensive primary
areas of flora. In 1996 Brae Trust members opened a
nature trail through less sensitive areas of the habitat,
which is important for migratory warblers and bun rings,
and endemic landbirds, including the Caymna Brac
Parrot (Amazozra leucocephala hestern:a).
Governor Michael Gore Bird Sanctuary, Grand
Cayman,-0.7 ha (1.84 acres), including a fresh water
pond of local significance as a breeding site for the
Purple Gallinule (Porphyrula marlinica) and Least
Bittern (Ixobrychus exilis), and seasonally important
foraging formigrantwaterfowl. A hide has been installed.
Botanic Park Grand Cayman.-The Trust owns 50%
of the Park shared with the Cayman Islands go vernment.
The Trust owns the 14-ha (35 acres) woodland nature
trail loop and the enclosed woodland. The Botanic Park

El Pitirre 9(3)

has created a lake from an existing wetland, which is
already a significant site for breeding waterfowl.
1b.ANtMAL SANrCTUARIms, protected under the Animals Law,
1976. Though much weaker legislation than the Trust
Law, these Sanctuaries were set up explicitly to protect
waterfowl. The Sanctuaries total ca. 138 ha (342 acres)
(does not include Animal Sanctuaries which are also
Trust owned).
Meagre Bay Pond, Grand Cayman
Colliers Pond, Grand Cayman
Salt Water Pond, Cayman Brac
Booby Pond Nature Reserve, Little Cayman
This zone is protected under the Marine Parks Law; it is
primarily marine, but it includes approximately 607 ha
(1500 acres) of the Central Mangrove Wetland fringe
bordering Little Sound. It is regarded as the most eco-
logically sensitive area in the Cayman Islands,

The Marine Environmental zone, together with a further 243
ha (600 acres) of Crown property in the Central Mangrove
Wetland (CMW), were proposed as a Ramsar site earlier in
1996 with Ministerial support. However, a decision has been
deferred by the government and is unlikely to be considered
until after the November 1996 elections. The draft also
includes proposals for establishment of an Environmental
Trust Fund as a mechanism for gradual purchase of the entire
wetland for conservation. A Trust memberhas raised $500,000
toward land purchase but resistance from landowners is
facing the Trust as developers seek higher prices.
The 3238-ha (8000 acres) Central Mangrove Wetland is of
immense ecological importance to Grand Cayman, providing
large scale nutrient flow to the marine environment, fueling
rainfall in the western districts and recharging groundwater
reserves, providing breeding habitat for herons and endemic
landbirds, providing storm protection, and functioning as a
major carbon sink.
The greater part of the mangrove habitats in wes tern Grand
Cayman has been cleared or is scheduled for development,
making the protection of the CMW an even greater priority.

Salt and brackish ponds in the three islands are undergoing
biological assessment (funded by HMG) by the National
Trust and P. E. Bradley -in partnership with the Gulf Coast
Research Laboratory, Mississippi and the University of
Tampa. The aim is to describe food webs and hydrology of a


Island Reports Cayman Islands continuedd)
range of ponds and to understand the seasonality that cause
them to be critical waterfowl foraging habitat. Management
strategies will then be designed to maximize the ecological
value of these areas, and to reduce conflict with neighboring
residents arising from foul pond odors.

Since 1990 a program for the iguana has included field
research, education, habicatprotection. captive breeding,
and release of captive bred animals into protected areas.
Trial releases have been conducted and there are now 30
animals captive with some breeding success yearly since
4b, PROPOSED 1997 PaRnor cENsus. The two subspecies of
the Cuban Parrot, Amazona leucocephala caymanensis
(Grand Cayman) and A. L hesterna (Cayman Brac), have
been censused by the Trust, Jim Wiley, and the Cayman
Islands Bird Club on a three-year interval schedule. The
Cayman Brac counts (max. 430 birds, February 1991;
497, February 1994) are stable. Grand Cayman counts
(max. 1500 in 1992, 1900 in 1995) showed amarginally
significant increase partly due to its removal from the
Game Bird list in 1990 and despite progressive defores-
tation and still being treated as a pest by farmers.
Comparison of population densities in the two islands
suggest the CaymanBrac population maybe close to the
carrying capacity of this small island. The Trust is
currently seeking funding for a mid-February 1997
Cayman Bracparrotcensus. Scarcity of human resources
on Cayman Brac requires volunteers to come by air from
Grand Cayman for one week (ca US$3500).
The first survey of the population on Grand Cayman
since Bradley (1986) was carried out in summer 1995 by
a graduate student from Queen's University, Belfast.
That survey yielded a population estimate of 397 birds.
Bradley's 1995 estimate for Little Cayman was 130
birds. Although breeding on Cayman Brac had not been
recorded for over 15 years, ducks nested there in 1994
and 1995, but not in 1996. The Cayman Islands will be
part of the West Indian Whistling-Duck Conservation
Working Group efforts,
Lrrrt. CAYMAN. The Trust's Management Plan for the
Booby Pond Nest Reserve calls for a census and colony
area assessment of the Red-footed Boobies (ca. 3500
pairs) and Magnificent Frigatebirds (Fregata
magnificens; ca. 150 pairs) in February 1997, The last
census was conducted in 1986 by R. B. Clapp. who
updated A. W. Diamond's original 1975 assessmenL
The Trust hopes to obtain assistance from a seabird
specialist, and is seeking US$5000.

There is widespread concern over the location and
construction of the new airport and how it will affect the
booby colony. Monitoring should be in place by the end
of 1996.

5. THE Cnc-LIST OF CACYKLN osAD C BIRDs by Patricia E.
Bradley, in preparation, will be published (estimated date
1998) by the British Ornithologists' Union. Three grants
have been obtained for visits to collections in the United

Cayman Islands Bird Club conducted a breeding survey of
Least Terns in early August 1996, which resulted in an
estimation of 120 pairs.

Bradley has visited Cayman Brac three times in 1995-1996
to conduct surveys of Brown Boobies. Her counts (ca. 60
birds) suggest a large reduction in numbers compared to her
1983-1986 surveys of 170-190 pairs.

8. BREEDING BIRD SURVEv.Thebreeding bird survey conducted
by the Cayman Islands Bird Club in May 1996 provided
important new nesting data on the Vitelline Warbler
(Dendroica vitellina).

9. NEW REcoRDs include:
confirmed breeding of Least Bittern
a second year of breeding for Bridled Tern (Sterna
two breeding records for American Coot (Fulica
americana; normally a migratory species) on Grand
two ibis species (Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus [5
individuals and White Ibis Eudocimus albus [1
individual] in continual residence for 14 months. 1995-
A single Tropical Kingbird Tyrannus melancholicus,
October 1995

10. NEW CONSERVATION LEGISLATION is being drafted by the
Head of the newly formed Department of the Environment,
with an estimated completion date of late 1997.

NOTE: The Trust operate a program for visiting scientists
who contribute and share biodiversity assessment and
conservation research in the Cayman Islands. The Trust can
often assist with low-cost accommodations and local techni-
cal expertise in return for freely shared results. Inquiries to:
National Trust Scientific Programs Manager, P. O. Box
31116 SMB, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands; telephone:
809-949-0121; fax: 809-949-7494: e-mail:

El Pitirre 9(3)

Page 18



Representative for Cuba

The approach to conservation in our country is "subjective"
rather than "objective." There are several reasons for this,
some of which will be outlined here. rt is not my purpose,
however, to analyze or judge conservation attitudes in Cuba
from the past century through the present. I will consider only
the more recent period, based mainly on my field experience
over the last five decades, As a zoologist, my main field deals
with vertebrates, although I have also some experience with
insects. However, when dealing with conservation issues, we
must think equally of plants and animals, and thereby we
must include the participation of both botanists and zoologists.
The direct and indirect effects of human activities are
mainly responsible for the changes that may occur among
populations ofplants and animals throughout historical times.
But we need to analyze "both sides of the coin" as to what
effects human activities have had on conservation in our
country. Again, this analysis is based on rather "subjective"
thinking, mainly because of thelackof statistics from rigorous
surveys and studies of population dynamics. On one side of
the coin are the negative effects of human activities, such as
deforestation; conversion of natural habitats to citrus
plantations, cane fields, and pastures; mining operations;
flooding habitats by construction of dams; development of
causeways connecting the mainland with the cays; the
introduction ofexoticplants and animals (especially monkeys
in some cays); and the so-called "Special Period" of eco-
nomic hardships over the last 5 years that has forced our
country people to capture protectedbirds and mammals (e.g.,
especially hutfas Capromys spp.) for food.
With regard to the construction of dams, we have no data
on the negative effects of the habitats lost to the reservoirs.
Certainly many land birds have been affected by the reduction
of their habitat. Some species which previously did not occur
in rural or urban habitats, including large cities, have recently
become common residents in such sites; e.g., the endemic
Cuban Blackbird (Dives atroviolacea), Tawny-shouldered
Blackbird (Agelaius humeralis), and Antillean Palm Swift
(Tachornisphoenicobia). Even small flocks of Cuban Parrots
(A4mazona leucocephala) are dwelling in residential and
embassy areas where gardens and trees are found. Whether
these birds represent escapees from captivity, or took up
residence from wild populations, we do not know,
We should be greatly concerned with the current rush to
build causeways between cays and from the cays to the main
island of Cuba. These corridors will allow easy invasions of
exotic forms. Certain local endemic races of birds and reptiles
are doomed to disappear, either by interacting with new
invaders from mainland Cuba, or by disturbance or reduction

of their habitats, caused by the construction of new tourist
Still there is another, positive face of the coin, demon-
stratedia the increasing numberofprofessional forest guards,
along with the creation of sanctuaries, reserves, national
parks, forestry parks, and gardens, and our extensive
reforestation efforts (including planting of fruit trees), rn that
reforestation program, thousands, perhaps millions, of trees
have been planted in Cuba.
Although considerable terrestrial habitat has been lost to
reservoirs,it is important to point out that several populations
of waterfowl have profited from these developments and
some species have greatly increased their populations. For
example, in less than four years after the construction of the
Presa Mufioz (Camagiley province), over three thousand
pairs ofTropical Cormorants (Phalacrocoraxbrazilianus) nest
around the dam, more than 30 Ospreys (Pandion haliaefus
carolinensis) winter there, and a minimum of 56 Snail Kites
(Roshramnus sociabilis) were observed in less than an hour's
survey by motor boat. At least two nestings of the North
American race of the Osprey (P. h. carolinensis) have been
reported at dams (previously the local race, ridgwayi, was the
only form nesting in our territory, and there only in cays),
With the increase of citrus and rice plantations, the
previously extremely rare Short-eared Owl (Asioflammeus)
has shown a spectacular demographic explosion in less .than
12 years; it has since been reported from essentially every
province, including territories not thought suitable, such as
the Peninsula de Guanahacabibes. Only about 30 years ago,
the same phenomenon occurred with the Fulvous Whistling-
Duck (Dendrocygna bicolor) in rice fields and also the White-
cheeked Pintail (Anas bahamensis). Several species of
migratory ducks have also greatly increased their numbers as
winter visitants. Other species using swamp and saw grass
habitats have expanded their territories. For example, the
endemic Cuban Red-winged Blackbird (Agelafis assimilis),
formerly found only in the Cienagade Zapata, now occurs as
far as some rice fields in the province of Ciego de Avila
(Yaroddy Rodrfguez, pers. comm.). The Northern Harrier
(Circus cyaneus), formerly a rather rare winter visitor, is now
common in some rice fields, as is the Barn Owl (Tyro alba).
Thus, even in our current period of economic hardships,
some headway is being made in our efforts to conserve our
I thank the Society of Caribbean Ornithology, the National
Trust of the Bahamas, and the RARE Center for Tropical
Conservation for their support.

El Pitirre 9(3)

Page 19


Representative for Dominica

Dominica is a small island with an area of 720 ha km2 (290 sq.
miles) and a human population of 71,500. The island, which
is only 29 km long by 16 km wide, is in the center of the
Eastern Caribbean chain and lies between the French Overseas
Department of Guadeloupe and Martinique. Dominica is
extremely mountainous, with four of its many peaks reaching
over 1230 m (4000 ft).The tallestmountain, Morne Diablotin,
is 1461 m (4747 ft.) in elevation. In contrast with several of
the other Caribbean islands, Dominica- has been able to
preserve much of its natural vegetation. In fact, about 60% of
the island is still under some form of natural vegetation cover.

The Forestry and Wildlife Division of Dominica does not
have a great deal of experience in ornithology-related activi-
ties, such as regular monitoring, population counts, or gen-
eral research. However, the Division has been quite involved
in bird conservation in general, and withpublic awareness or
environmental education programs with the objective of
informing the public of the importance of birds and ins tilling
an appreciation of these creatures. The Division has also
made strides in influencing the passage of certain pieces of
legislation aimed at the conservation and management of
birds, in the areas of protection and regulation of the
importation and exportation of birds, as well as the hunting
and closed seasons, and what species of birds may or may not
be taken.
The Division has been involved for the past six years in
several bird research projects (e.g., annual parrot monitoring)
and, more recently (i.e., for the past two years), in seasonal
research of parrot breeding biology, nesting, and feeding
habits. The Division also participated in the 1994 BirdLife
International World Birdwatch activities.

Employees ofthe Forestry and Wildlife Division of Dominica
patrol the forested areas on a regular basis. It is the duty of the
Forestry Officers to implement the provisions of the Forestry
and Wildlife Act. The Division also maintains regular con tact
with hunters in an effort to solicit theiropinions and suggestions
in an effort to improve bird protection, management, policies,
and techniques.

The Forestry and Wildlife Division has a weekly
environmental education program, which is effectively used
to both inform and educate the public. During its annual

Forestry Week, the Division also hosts both television and
radio programs, which are used to improve public awareness
and to solicit public suggestions and advice on matters of
protection and conservation.
In 1989, RARE Center, represented by Paul Butler, in
collaboration with the Forestry and Wildlife Division,
launched Project Sisserou in Dominica. This project was
aimed atadvising the public about the protection, importance,
and need to appreciate our two endemic parrot species.
During the past 10 ormoreyears the Division has produced
numerous publications (e.g., the New Forester, an annual
publication; many pamphlets, brochures, and booklets, several
of which address various aspects of bird conservation; e.g.,
our 1989 production of A Z in Birds).
Every year visits are made to both primary and secondary
schools wherevarious topics dealing with birds are in produced
and discussed with students by Forestry and Wildlife Divi-
sion officials.

The Forestry and Wildlife (Revised) Act Chapter 60:02 deals
with many aspects of bird protection and conservation. The
act indicates when birds should and should not be hunted,
Those that should not be hunted are considered protected
birds (e.g., the two endemic parrot and hummingbird species).
According to the Wildlife Act, no birds (dead or alive)
should be exported or imported without the necessary permit
from the Forestry and Wildlife Division, together with a
series of veterinary level documents all aimed at proper
management and protection of local birds. Added to these
requirements are a set of local regulations and restrictions.

The Forestry and Wildlife Division has been routinely
monitoring the two endemic parrot species for the past 16+
years. Intermittently, the Division has been involved in
specific parrot projects, During the years 1992 and 1993 the
Division, in collaboration with an English zoologist and
researcher, had been involved in a period of organized and
intensive parrot monitoring exercises. During these exer-
cises, population counts were taken at various localities on
the island,

In 1994, a formal parrot research program was initiated. In
1993, a joint research project was initiated between the
Forestry and Wildlife Division, Ministry of Agriculture, of

El Pitirre 9(3)

Page 20

Island Representative Reports Dominica (continued)
the Commonwealth of Dominica, and Wildlife Preservation
Trust International (VPTI) of the United States to study the
Imperial or Sisserou Parrot (Amazona imperialis), and the
Jaco or Red-necked Parrot (A. arausiaca), bothendomic to
In 1995, there was a misunderstanding between the two
parties resulting in the withdrawal of WPTI. Nevertheless,
the Division continued its research on the two parrot species,
collecting valuable data up through the present. The program
is intended to continue for the next 2-3 years. Su mmari action
of observations of pre-laying, incubation, nestling, and
fledging activities are underway.

Whereas the Forestry and Wildlife Division has some capacity

to organize bird research work, effectively enforce the laws,
and conduct education and conservation programs, the
Division's staff is limited in their capacities to complete
tasks. The Division is in need of technical training at the
Bachelor's and Master's degree levels and training of junior
staff at the intermediate level (i.e., Eastern Caribbean Institute
of Agriculture and Forestry [ECIAF], Rangers Certificate
and Diploma Certificate courses). Whereas many research
needs could be identified and projects developed, financing
still remains a major problem. Although these limitations
continue to plague the extent and depth of the Forestry and
Wildlife Division's research and conservation efforts, the
Division perseveres, thanks to the efforts, commitment, and
dedication of our field officers.The Division would welcome
any level of assistance possible.



Representative for Jamaica

Indeed, the past year has been one of rapid growth for the
environmental and conservation movement in Jamaica. A
steady interest in environmental and conservation issues is
finally gaining momentum at all levels of society.
Commitment to the protection of Jamaica's natural
resources by the island's Government has been indicated
(1) The development of a proposed policy for a National
System of Parks and Protected Areas.
(2) A second revision of the Wildlife Protection AcL
(3) The development of the Jamaica National Environ-
mental Act Plan (JANEAP) 1995.
The Natural Resources Conservation Authority (NRCA),
which has the responsibility to effectively administer the
policies and plans related to the proper use of Jamaica's
natural resources, recently published the Jamaica State of the
Environment (SOE) Report. The report, which will be pub-
lished on an annual basis, aims to provide readily available
information about Jamaica's environment. The SOE Report
was prepared in collaboration with other regulatory and
resource management agencies, as well as with academic
research institutions and non-government organizations
At the NGO level there has also been recognition of the
increasing need for information sharing and collaboration
among organizations. The National Environmental Societies
Trust, in December 1995, combined its Annual General
Meeting with a conference, at which NGO representatives

presented papers on various areas of interest, The conference
was well supported and it is hoped it will become an annual
event. Another first was the staging of Green Expo hosted by
the Jamaica Conservation and Development Trust. The Expo
provided an opportunity for NGOs, the private sector, and
Government to produce an impressive display of
environmental and technical information and services,
Where has the ornithology movement fallen in this process
of change? With the acquisition of an office in October 1995.
the Gosse Bird Club is now better equipped to spearhead the
study and conservation of birds and their habitats. The office,
which is based at 93 Old Hope Road, Kingston 6, was
obtained through the Institutional Strengthening Project,
which was funded by Green Fund.
The Club's part-time Office Director and Secretary have
facilitated improved net-working among Gosse Bird Club
members and with environmental agencies. This welcomed
administrative support has been accompanied by an
overwhelming demand on the Club's human and physical
The Gosse Bird Club continues to contribute to national
decisions on ornithological issues through its collaboration
with the NRCA by representation on the Scientific and
Technical Advisory Committee of the Blue and John Crow
Mountains National Park.
The Club is:
(I) currently responsible for the project, In ventory ofBirds
in the BlueandJohn CrowMountains. The Project Leader

El Pitirre 9(3)

Page 21

Island Representative Reports Jamaica (continued)
is Marcia Mundle and the funding agencies are the
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFW-F) and
(2) partially responsible for the study of the Biology,
Distribution. and Natural History of the Jamaican
Amazon Parrots. The Project Leader is Susan Koenig
(Wildlife Preservation Trust International [WPTr]) and
the funding agencies are WPTI and Environmental
Foundation of Jamaica.
(3) providing support for the Study of Effects of Habitat
Fragmentation on Bird Communities in the Buffer Zone
of the Blue and John Crow Moun tainsNational Park. The
researcher is Suzanne Davis (University of the West

Indies) and the funding agencies are NFWF and USAID.
School and community groups have begun to value-birds
through wildlife education and the club has been flooded by
requests for talks, slide shows, bird watches, and resource
material. Consequently, the Gosse Bird Club is in the process
of developing an illustrated teacher's guide and posters for
distribution with the field guide Birds of Jamaica (Downer
and Sutton 1990).
Much more work needs to be done to implement effective
conservation strategies for birds. However, the increasing
tendency toward information sharing, collaboration, and
community involvement is encouraging and is definitely a
step in the right direction.



Representative for The Bahama Islands

Several scientific researchers continue to conduct activities
in the Bahamas. The following are the most recent research
permits issued:
David S. Lee, North Carolina State Museum of Natural
History Study of neotropical migrant land birds,
tropicbirds, and Audubon's Shearwater breeding in
the Bahamas
Nancy Staus, University of Minnesota-Research on
whistling-ducks in Long Island
Paul Allen, Comell University, University of Montana
Breeding Bahama Swallows on Grand Bahama
James W. Armacost, Jr., Mississippi State University
Breeding biology of the Thick-billed Vireo
John Barlow and Marlene Walker, Royal Ontario
Museum Study of the inter-island variation of
Thick-billed Vireos
Lowell Overton. University of Arkansas Genetic
studies of the West Indian Woodpecker

The Ministry of Agriculture has issued permission to
Ardastra Gardens to collect young parrots from Inagua
for their captive breeding program, Capture was at-
tempted in 1995 and 1996, but to date has been
The Bahamas National Trust issued permission for
collection of Greater Flamingos in Inagua this year.
Collection was not possible because the flamingos did
not nest in 1996. Records show that during exception-
ally dry periods the flamingos have not nested.

Of note is David Lee's sighting of a Kirtland's Warbler in
Abaco National Park in Fall 1996.

The Bahamas National Trust Ornithology Group is quite
active, including:
Beginning in 1994 the Group has conducted the annual
Audubon Christmas bird count. The Bahamas were
credited with the most species counted for the region in
The Group conducts monthly walks, monitoring the
Botanic Gardens for the Ministry of Agriculture and
keeping an eye on other prime areas of habitat.
They will begin to create a computerized data base with
the information collected from the last four years this
They are also helping the Ministry of Tourism by
organizing extra educational birdwalks for Bahamians
working toward certification as bird tour guides.
The Bahamas National Trust Ornithology Group, the
Ministry ofAgriculture, and the College of the Bahamas
have entered into a partnership with the Partners-in-
Flight Program of the North Carolina State Museum of
Natural History

E1 Pitirre 9(3)

Page 22


GERmta ALL.anQ
Representative for Trinidad and Tobago

Caroni Swamp
The Government of Trinidad and Tobago received a loan
from the Inter-American Development Bank for the
undertaking ofsix environmentally related projects throughout
the country. One of these projects is the development of the
Caroni Swamp National Park. The project is separated into
various components, the major component being the devel-
opment of a Visitor's Center, and ancillary works of board
walks, picnic facilities, trails, and bird-viewing towers. The
project began in early 1995, but the construction of the
Visitor's Center was temporarily halted in February 1996
because of financial difficulties. However, it is expected that
work on the site will soon resume.
One of the components which is directly related to the
conservation of birds in Trinidad andTobago, is the component
aimed at determining the feasibility of re-establishing a
freshwater marsh community in the eastern sector of the
Caroni Swamp. The principal reason for thi s component is an
attempt at the re-establishment of the nesting of the Scarlet
Ibis (Eudocimus ruber, one of the national birds of Trinidad
and Tobago) in the Caroni wetland. The nesting of the species
ceased sometime in the seventies, and it has been suggested
that this was due to a reduction in the freshwater marsh
community. This was the primary feeding habitat for the
young ibises, which required a salt-free diet. However, hy-
drological changes occurred in the area mainly as a result of
salt water intrusion. This subsequently resulted in a change in
the vegetation from a predominantly freshwater condition to
a saltwater one (mangroves). The project is an attempt to
reverse this change by the implementation of corrective
measures such as embankments.
The project involves investigations into the population of
E. ruber in the wetland, the ecology of the remaining marsh
community, and the possible impacts on the water supply and
fisheries of the Caroni wetland when corrective engineering
is applied. The project was begun in November 1995 by the
Zoology and Engineering Departments. University of the
West Indies. St. Augustine

Iariva Swamp
The final report of the application ofthe Ramsar Convention's
Monitoring Procedure to the Nariva wetland was presented to
the Government of Trinidad and Tobago in February 1996.
Some of the recommendations of the report include the
development of a detailed management plan for the area and
the restoration of marsh communities previously destroyed

by rice cultivation. The Nariva wetland is Trinidad and
Tobago's Ramsar site.

Development of a National Wetland Policy
A draft of a National Wetland Policy for Trinidad and
Tobago was prepared by the National Wetlands Committee
ofTrinidad and Tobago during 1995-1996 and was presented
for public comment in April 1996. The rationale for the
policy is to prepare guidelines which will direct the efforts at
the protection and wise use of Trinidad and Tobago's wetland
resource heritage. The policy is divided into five programs:
(1) Public Awareness, (2) Management for Publicly owned
Wetlands, (3) Protected Wetlands, (4) Cooperative Wetland
Protection and (5) Wetland Studies. These programs will
directly affect the protection and use of the large avian
component of the wetlands in the country.

Development of a National Wildlife Policy
A draft version of aStrategiePlan for Conserving the Wildlife
of Trinidad and Tobago was presented in 1995. The docu-
ment was prepared to direct changes in the Conservation of
Wildlife Act of 1958, which is the central piece of wildlife
legislation in Trinidad and Tobago. It was determined that the
Wildlife Act was woefully inadequate and needed prompt
upgrading to ensure the sustainable management of the
nation's wildlife resources. The draft strategic plan will
directly affect the avian resources of Trinidad and Tobago as
the definition of "animal" in the Wildlife Act incorporates
birds, their eggs, carcass, meat, nest, or young.

There are two research projects in progress at the Zoology
Department, University of the West Indies, whizh are
directly related to the conservation of birds in Trinidad and
Tobago. The first is entitled, "An investigation of the
status of palm swamp forest habitat in relation to the
conservation of Psittacidae in Nariva Swamp." This
project is in its second year. The information obtained
fmm this project will he useful to the current conservation
efforts being undertaken in the country's only Ramsar site.
The second project is, "Determining the status of
marsh-dependent avifauna of Caroni Swamp, Trinidad in
relation to restoration and management of a degraded
wetland." This project is in its first year and will provide
background information for the larger project aimed at the
restoration of the freshwater swamp community in the
eastern section of the Caroni wetland.

El Pitirre 9(3)

Page 23



Representative for St. Lucia

A record number of parrot nests were found this nesting
season, bringing to 42 the total number of nests that were
monitored at some time during the nesting season (Table 1).

Table 1. Status of St. Lucia Parrot nests monitored during the 1996
nesting season.

Total number of nests monitored 42
Active nests 19
Non-active nests 22
Nests that failed 12
Nests that fledged 2 chicks 3
Nests that fledged 1 chick 4

The last fledging occurred at the end of June. Pearly-eyed
Thrasher (Margaropsfuscatus) nesting activity was observed
in a few parrot nests and this indicates that the thrashers nest
later than the parrots. The areas scouted where parrot nesting
activity was discovered represents only a tiny part of the
parrot habitat With this in mind andknowing that the parrots
are nesting essentially in all of their range, we have just
scratched the surface in terms of parrot nest finds.
Highlights of the season include:
* Record number of nests found
* One parrot nest found with 3 chicks
* Largest flock of parrots found feeding in a single tree- 43
* First chick fledged was captured on film by cameraman of
the BBC Natural History Unit
* Parrot crew learned new rope climbing technique
* First eye-witness of a parrot chick death
* Most measurements of chicks taken this season
* Most nest trees spiked and measured
* Parrot crew learned the technique of crop sampling

ST. LuctA WaTrAn. (CNrEiDOPHoRus vAMrzOl)
Translocated lizards on Praslin Islandhave reproduced and it
is possible that F, generation offspring should be running
around soon. The following is justification for this optimism:
May 1995 Seven whiptail pairs were translocated to
Praslin Island after the first translocation failed be-
cause of mongoose predation.
August 1995 First F, offspring seen on Praslin
January 1996 Gravid F, females seen on Praslin.
From "bone dry" conditions in the dry season, the island
responded with an explosion of plant growth at the onset of
the rains. Insects are abundant and the lizards are thriving,
A nature trail on Praslin Island is nearing completion.

Page 24

The final project proposal for the development of Grande
Anse Estate as an eco-tourism resort was submitted to Cabinet
by the Grande Anse Advisory Committee. Bill Toone (San
Diego Zoological Society, USA) was instrumental in the
latest initiative toward the purchase of Grande Anse Estate.
He is now pursuing efforts to raise funds for the project in the
United States. In St. Lucia, Toone visited Grande Anse Estate
and saw some of the species for which the area is famous. He
also held meetings with all the major players and stack
holders in the Estate.

A parrot conference will be held in St. Lucia from 11-14
August 1996. Several papers will be presented on parrot
research projects in St. Lucia and Jamaica, together with
other parrot research activities in the region. Participants are
expected from the Caribbean region, United States. Canada,
Mexico, and the United Kingdom. A census of the St. Lucia
Parrot will be undertaken during the conference, as many
parrot experts will be present.

On 28 January an endemic subspecies, the St. Lucia Wren
(Troglodytesaedon maesoleocos) was discoveredon the long
loop of the Union Nature Trail. This form is known to occur
only along the Grande Anse to Louvert Belt and on Gras and
Petit Pitons.

Roseau Dam, the largest freshwater dam in the Eastern
Caribbean States, was officially opened in February 1996.
The reservoir is over 2 km long and contains over 700 million
gallons of water. The Roseau River watershed is the longest
in St. Lucia and the dam is serviced by a protected watershed
of over 3000 acres of rain forest. However, a small part of a
farming community had to be relocated and some 300 acres
of private and Crown Lands reforested because they were
within the dam watershed. Reforestation works arecontinu ing
using natural forest species as much as possible. This area is
one of the strongholds of the St. Lucia Parrot and the addi-
tional 300 acres of forest will provide more habitat and forage
areas for the species.

Environmentaleducation is an on-going activity, and lectures
and slide shows are given to various groups, schools, and
farmers on request. Topics vary from "The importance of soil
and water conservation." to "Birds of Grande Anse," or

El Pitirre 9(3)

Island Represenradive Reports St. Lucia (continued)
"Why conserve forests?" A recently held workshop on
environmental education for secondary school teachers was
well attended. This is an annual event and participation keeps
A total of 3976 children participated in the zoo education

program Over4000 persons from 20 communities participated
in various education activities ranging from eco-tourism to
reptile conservation to solid waste management. Over 5000
persons visited our five rain forest trails.


The following are the guidelines for duties of Island
Representatives agreed on at the SCO meeting in Nassau;
August, 1996.
1. Promote the SCO in their island:
a) encourage membership
b) disseminate information
c) encourage paid members to vote
2. Provide and coordinate three contributions to coincide
with the publication of EPitirre, one of which will be
the annual report.
3. Representatives who attend the annual meeting will be
expected to give a written report of the meeting,

especially on issues which are important to their
particular country,
4. Serve as contact persons for visiting scientists and
research groups.
Island Representatives are asked to send a communication
to the Treasurer by 15 March to say if they have secured or
have applied for funding to attend the meeting,
Representatives who need funding are also asked to apply
by 15 March. Priority will be given to representatives who
can secure matching funds; e.g., airfare or accommodations.
Applicants must be Caribbean nationals or are residing in the



WHEREAS a recent survey has shown that the White-
cheeked Pintail (Anas bahamensis bahamensis) has declined
precipitously in numbers over much of its range during the
last century;
WHEREAS this decline is caused by human factors including
overhunting, poaching, introduction of non-native predators.
and habitat destruction;
WHEREAS the White-checked Pintail is one of only several
waterfowl species resident in the West Indies;

Caribbean Ornithology urges governments of all West Indian
islands to:

1. Inform the public (through educational programs) of the
decline of the White-checked Pintail in the West Indies
in order to increase awareness of, and support for, their
2. Establish a monitoring program of White-cheeked
Pintail populations inhabiting their islands;
3. Establish reserves encompassing all wetland types
utilized by White-checked Pintails throughout the year;
4. Monitor and control predator populations on offshore
cays and other areas used by females for nesting;
5. Establish legal protection (if not already available) and
employ wardens to ensure thathunting laws are enforced.

Submitted by Lisa G. Sorenson and Bethany L Woodworth

El Pitirr 9(3)

Page 25


RECOGNIZING that tourism plays a vital role in the econo-
mies of most Caribbean countries and contributes greatly to
the financial stability of this region;
OBSERVING that nature tourism or "eco-tourism" is a
growing component of the Caribbean tourism industry and
that its promotion is increasing within the region;
RECALLING that the mission of the Society of Caribbean
Ornithology is to promote the study and conservation of birds
and their habitats in the Caribbean;


AGREES that nature tourism in the Caribbean can play a role
in the conservation of birds and their habitats; hut to do so,
(a) Mechanisms must be put in place to ensure that the
wildlife resource will continue to exist and be protect led
from developmental pressures [to ensure sustainable
use]. For example, prime birdwatching areas need to be
protected as National Parks, Nature Reserves, or
protected areas.
(b) Environmental impacts to ecosystems where these
resources live need to be minimized to ensure that the
wildlife resource can survive. For example, pollution,
solid waste management practices, and drainage of
wetland areas may affect waterbird populations that are
attractive to birdwatchers.
(c)Partnerships amongwildliferesource and environmental
agencies, non-government conservation organizations,
tourism ministries and industry, scientists, and local
communities are vital in ensuring that nature tourism
meets its objective ofconserving biodiversity. Resource
management plans and national tourism strategies need
to be cooperative, multi-disciplinary, and integrative
(d) Nature tourism should enhance and facilitate
conservation benefits to the wildlife resource. For ex-

ample, landscaping and planting efforts around hotels
or touristareas should be of native species to encourage
their use by native birds.
(c) Nature tourism needs to provide direct economic benefits
to wildlife resource agencies, conservation
organizations, and local communities to ensure the
conservation of the wildlife resource. For example,
visitors could be required to pay a visitor's fee to enter
National Parks and such user fees should be returned to
the agency managing the resource and the local
(f) Local communities should be involved in the process at
all levels: suchas decision-making andproviding trained
guides, and they should derive conservation and eco-
nomic benefits as well.
(g) Nature tourism ventures initiate in-situ public educa-
tion campaigns.
(h) The establishment of training programs for local and
community residents as nature tour guides become a
critical component of any nature tourism venture.
(I) Governments, tour agencies, and non-government
organizations should quantify the benefits and results
of nature tourism and monitor the effects of such
tourism on the wildlife resource,

Submitted by: Rosemarie S. Gnam, Ph.D. and Catherine
Levy;, Supported by: Gosse Bird Club

Targeted to:
Government ministries (tourism and natural resource)
The Caribbean Tourism Organization
UNEP regional program in the Caribbean
The World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank
Appropriate conservation organizations working in the
Caribbean bird tour operators and businesses.


The Society of Caribbean Ornithology wishes to exprosa its
deepest appreciation totheOrnithology Group of the Bahamas
National Trust and the members of the Local Committee for
their assistance with the Annual Meeting. SCO gratefully
acknowledges the dedication of these workers in planning
and hosting the meeting. A special note of thanks to the Local
Committee Chair. Ms. Carolyn Wardle, who worked dili-
gently to make things "better in the Bahamas" for the SCO.
SCO was heartened by the spirit of hospitality within the
Bahamas. South Ocean extended us a warm welcome and

made our meeting arrangements feel like we were at hume,
We were especially gratified to see the commitment of the
Ministry of Agriculture, Tourism, the Bahamas National
Trust, other local organizations, the College of the Bahamas,
and the Bahamian people toward the conservation of birds
and their habitats.
SCO hopes to assist the Bahamas in their future
conservation efforts and to establish a long, cooperative
relationship with the Bahamas.

Page 26


El Pitirre 9(3)


WHEREAS Caio Tiburones, located betweenRfo Grande de
Arecibo and Rfo Grande de Manadi, is the largest natural
freshwater wetland in Puerto Rico;
WHEREAS the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and
Environmental Resources has recognized the unique
conservation values of Caito Tiburones and recommends its
designation as a Natural Reserve;
WHEREAS at least 45 species of aquatic birds have been
recorded in Calio Tiburones;
WHEREAS Caflo Tiburones has been drained by means of
pumping since 1949, thus depleting severely the wetland's
avian populations;
RECOGNIZING that protection of Calo Tiburones is of
great conservation significance for populations of the locally
threatened or endangered White-cheeked Pintalls, Masked
Ducks, Caribbean Coots, and West Indian Whistling-Ducks,
and the federally endangered Brown Pelican;
OBSERVING that in 1995, when the pumps were not
operating and water reached its natural levels, waterbird
populations and thereproductive activity of native waterfowl
species increased markedly;
OBSERVING that in 1996, after pumping operations were
resumed, waterfowl breeding attempts were disrupted, brood
survival was adversely affected, and waterbird populations
were displaced;
RECALLING that the mission of the Society of Caribbean
Ornithology is to promote the study and conservation of birds
and their habitats in the Caribbean;


AGREES that Calio Tiburones is unique, irreplaceable, and
represents important habitat for migratory and resident avian


PFOR CUANTO las species ex6ticas representan un riesgo
ecol6gico a la flora y fauna native de Puerto Rico;
POR CUANTO estareconocido parla comunidad cientfficea
mundial que las species ex6tias represent un peligro
substantial a las species y ecosistemas natives;
PFOR CUANTO estA reconocido por la comunidad cientffica
mundial que los sistemas islefios son m.s vulnerable a los
efectos adversos de las introducci6a de ex6ticos;
POR CUANTO en Puerto Rico se han reportado
aproximadamente 70 species de aves ex6ticas en el estado
silvestre de las cuales ninguna fue introducida por acci6n
POR CUANTO el cost de remediar los impictos ecol6gicas
adversos a la flora, fauna y bienestar del pueblo de Puerto
Rico y otros ecosistdmas a nivel mundial son onerosos;

species in Puerto Rico;
(a) All draining activities be suspended immediately.
(b) All wetlands be transferred from the Puerto Rico Land
Authority to the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and
Environmental Resources, as it was done in the case of
the Humacao Wildlife Refuge, southeastern PuertoRico.
(c) Cailo Tiburones be designated and managed as a
Wildlife Refuge by the Puerto Rico Department of Natural
and Environmental Resources.
(d) The local communities surrounding CafioTiburones be
informed through an education campaign of the benefits
to conservation and the economic benefits to the local
economy from the ensuing ecotourism.

Submitted by: Josd Coldn, Pablo Torres-Bdez: Society of
Puerto Rican Ornithology

Target to:
Honorable Pedro Rosello
Governor of Puerto Rico
La Fortaleza, Apartado 82
San Juan, Puerto Rico 00901

Honorable Pedro Gelabert
Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental
Apartado 5887
Puerta de Tierra, Puerto Rico 00906

Ramsar Office, Switzerland
U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service


REAFIRMANDO que la misi6n de la Sociedad Ornitoldgica
Caribeia es promoverel estudioy laconservacidn delays waves
y sus habitats en el Caribe;
ESTA DE ACUERDO que el mercadeo de avyes ex6tieas
consituye un peligro inminente a la integridad de Ia
biodiversidad Tsleria;
(a) Que el Departamento de Recursos Naturales y
Ambientales de Puerto Rico prohiba la entrada de aves
ex6ticas a la Isla;
(b) Que se implante una campaiia de educacidn ambiental
para informar al p iblico en general de los beneficios de
fomentar la conservaci6n de la flora y fauna de la Isla y
las consecuencias adversas a nuestra fauna y flora porla
presencia de avyes ex6ticas en Puerto Rico.

El Pitirre 9(3)


Page 27

Draft Resolution: Espaiex Exdiicas (continued)

Presentada por: Josd Col6n, Pablo Torres-Bdez: Sociedad
Omitoldgia de Puerto Rico

Enviar a:
Honorable Pedro Gelabert
Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmenal
Apartado 5887
Puerta de Tierra, Puerto Rico 00906

D&trT REsowLtoNO

Honorable Pedro Rosello
Governor of Puerto Rico
La Fortaleza, Apartado 82
San Juan, Puerto Rico 00901


WHEREAS the Cabo Rojo salt flats is the largest system of
its kind in Puerto Rico;
WHEREAS wetland and shoreline habitats are under
increasing pressure from human encroachment in the
WHEREAS the Cabo Rojo salt flats serve as a migratory
stopover and wintering site forat least24 species of migratory
shorebirds and breeding habitat for 4 shorebird species;
WHEREAS the Cabo Rojo salt flats also serves as breeding
and wintering grounds for at least another 70 terrestrial and
aquatic avian species, including some designated as threatened
or endangered;
RECOGNIZING that the Cabo Rojo salt flats support a salt
extraction operation important to the economy of the local
communities of Pole Ojea and El Combate;
RECALLING that the mission of the Society of Caribbean
Ornithology is to promote the study and conservation ofbirds
and their habitats in the Caribbean;


AGREES that the Cabo Rojo salt flats are unique,
irreplaceable, and represent important habitat for migratory
and resident avian species locally and regionally;
(a) The United States Congress appropriates to the U. S.
Fish and Wildlife Service from the Land and Water
Conservation Fund the necessary funds to acquire and
protect the Cabo Rojo salt flats.
(b) The Commonwealth of Puern Rican Department of
Natural and Environmental Resources and the Western
Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network designate the
Cabo Rojo salt flats as a site of local and regional
importance for resident and migratory shorebirds.
(c) Management of the Cabo Rojo salt flats should be
coordinated with other Commonwealth and Federal
management units abutting or in close proximity to the
salt flats to maximize wildlife conservation benefits-
(d) The local communities of Pole Ojea and El Combate be
informed through an education campaign of: 1) the
Page 28

benefits to conservation, 2) the economic benefits to the
local economy from the ensuing ecotourism, and 3) that
the s altextraction operation is a compatible activity with
envisioned conservation goals for the salt flats.

Submitted by: Jose Coldn, Society of Puerto Rican

Targeted to:
Honorable Bruce Babbit
Secretary of the Interior
U. S. Department of dthe Interior
Washington, D. C, 20240

Senator Slade Gordon
Chairman, Interior Appropriations Subcommittee
United States Senate
Washington, D. C. 20510
Attn.t Kathleen Wheeler

Representative Ralph Regula
Interior Appropriations Subcommittee
U. S. House of Representatives
Washington, D. C. 20515
Atm-: Deborah Weatherly

Senator Robert C. Byrd
Ranking Member, Interior Appropriations
United States Senate
Washington, D. C. 20510
Attn.; Sue Masica

Representative Sydney Yates
Ranking Member
Interior Appropriations Subcommittee
U. S, House of Representatives
Washington, D, C. 20515
Attn.: Del Davis

El Pitirre 9(3)

Draft R.solution: Cabo Rojo Salt Flats (continued)
Representative Jos6 Serrano
House Appropriations Committee
U. S. House of Representatives
Washington, D. C. 20515


WHEREAS the Society a fCaribbean Ornithology learned of
the death of Roger Tory Peterson only a few days before our
annual general meeting in August; and
WHEREAS R. T. Peterson has been recognized as the
instigatorof the movement which popularized bird watching
as a driving force in ornithology research and conservation
through his illustrated field guide concept;

Honorable Carlos Romero Barcelo
Resident Commissioner
U. S. House of Representatives
Washington, D. C. 20515


RECOGNIZING that this organization might not even exist
without his pioneering contribution;
BE it resolved that the members of the Society of Caribbean
Ornithology wish to acknowledge his immense contribution
and extend their deepest sympathy and appreciation to his



Laboratorio de Condueta Animal, Universidad Autunoma de Santo Domingo

En esta trabajo se insisted en la importancia de manejar los
ambientes urbanos con criterios ecologicos, particularmente
en el Caribe insular, debido a la fragilidad inherete a los
ecosistemas isleios y al desarrollo cadtico de sus ciudades.
Se described algunas de Ias areas realizadas con el fin de
mnejorar los ecosistemas urbanos, tales come la siembra de

arboles y arbustos nativos en parques y Areas verdes,
inventarios de aves silvestres en dreas urbanas, distribuci6n
de nido artificiales con el fin de mejorar las poblaciones de
aves que crian en laciudady propuestas de creaci6n de mini-
refugios de vida silvestre. Finalmente, se discuten fas
implications educativas del proyccto.


U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Rio Grands Field Office, P.O. Box 1600, Rio Grande, PR 00745

La cotorra puertorriquefia (Amazona viatra), el 1iltimo
pscitAcido enddmico a las islas de la plataforma insular de
Puerto Rico, estA considerada entire [as 10 species de aves en
mayor peligro de extinci6n en el nmundo, Las razones
principals para star al horde de la extincidn fue debido ala
deforestaci6n masiva de la isla a principios de siglo y a que
anteriormente era cazada y se hurtaban los picnones dc las
cavidades para su venta como mascotas. En 1968 se inician
los esfuerzos de conservacidn y se esdimaba una tinica
poblacion silvestre de 24 individuce en el Bosque National
del Caribe en la Sierra de Luquillo. En 1972 se inician los

El Pitirre 9(3)

esfuerzos de propagaci6n en cautiverin. Para agosto de 1989
se estimba la poblaci6n silvestre en 45-47 individuce. En
septiembre de 1989 el buracAn Hugo impact severamente la
Sierra de Luquillo provocando una perdida aparente de 50%
de la poblaci6n silvestre. A partir de esta mermina se
intensificaron los esfuerzos de conservaci6n y manejo,
aumentando las observaciones de la poblaci6n y modificando
[a vigilancia de nidos parm maximizar la produccidn. Las
nuevas tdnicas de manejo qua han sido inmplantadae ban
]levado ia poblaci6n silvestre a40 individuos luego del paso
del huracAn.

Page 29

Abstracts (continued)


'Insltitut de Ecologia y Sisienwicea. Carretera de Varora KIn 3-1/2, Byeros, Ciudad de Habanna, CP. 10800, Cuba,- Mjjseo
Nacionda de Historia Natural

El Atlas de las aves nidificantes do Cuba ha sido planteado
para ofrecer la distribuci6n y estado poblacional doe as 145
species de aves que nidifican en Cuba (Peris et al, 1995), El
territorio cubano ha sido dividido en 121 cuadriculas y
subdividido a su vez en 4 sobre la base del mapa 1:50,000 ]o
que produce rectangulos de 18.5 x 25 km2. Se emplearon las
categories de evidencia reproductivas segdn los criteria us de
Sharrock (1975). Fuerec Dpi lada lainfomnnacin delos trabajos
publicados con referencia sobre la distribuci6d de las ayes
cubanas y la depositada en las colecciones zool6gicas del

Institute de Ecologfa y Sistematica y del Musco National de
Historia Natural en una base dedatos, que serd utilizada en la
confrecci6n de dicho Atlas. La base de datos cuenta
actualmente con mis de 8000 registros y ha permitido
reconocer las cuadrfeiulas con mayor riqueza de species,
cuyos resultados estdn en correspondencia con las Aireas que
mds se han estudiado y ademds aquellas que requieren ser
prospectadas en el campo. Se da a conocer el mapa de
distribucidn preliminary del Tocororo (Proteins temnu nis).


'Facultad de Biologla, Universidad de La Hobana, Cuba; 'Ministerio de la Agricdnura,. Cuba

Se ofrece informaci6n sobre la distribuci6n actual de la conlievadounaumentodelndmerodeefectivosenlamayor'a
Yaguasa Criolla (Dendrocygna arborea) en Cuba y se dan de las localidades. Se discute sobre su alientaci6n en la
elements sobre su abundancia en las diferentes provincial. arrocera do Amaritlas (a = 8) y algunos datos sobre la
Al parecer el aumento del cultivo del arroz en el pals ha nidificacidn.


Museum of Zoology, Bird Division. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Michigan 48109-1079, U. S, A.

The White-cheeked Pintail (Anas bahamensis bahamensis) has
declined drastically overmuch of it's rangein the West Indies
during the last century. A recent survey showed that popu-
lations number only in the hundreds on most islands where
the pintail still exists. Population declines are likely caused
by 1) overhunting and poaching, 2) nest predation by
introduced rats, mongoose, raccoon, and feral cat, and 3) loss
of habitat. Our 3-year field study on the ecology and popula-
tion biology of a marked population in the Bahamas provides
some of the information necessary for planning effective
conservation measures, We found that adult survival rates are
high if the population is protected from hunting. Annual
production of young is low, however, due to low reproductive
rates. An average of 34% of marked females made no attempt

Page 30

to breed each year, and the frequency of renesti ng by females
whose first nest was destroyed was low. Several lines of
evidence suggest that low reproduction is due to 1) insuffic ient
food supplies in the pintail's hyper-saline wetland habitats,
and 2) nest predation by rats. Censuses showed that adults
were largely sedentary, with birds using a complex of wetlands
on three islands. Dispersal rates of young were low. Based on
these and other results, the following conservation measures
are suggested: 1)reserves whichencompassdifferent wetland
types (to meet the needs of birds at different times of the year)
should be established; 2) predator populations on cays used
by females for nesting should be monitored and controlled; 3)
due to low disperse alrates, reintroduction should be considered
for islands where pintails have been extirpated; 4) wardens

El Pitirre 9(3)

Ab.tractrz (fcortfinzd)
should be employed to ensure that hunting laws are enforced;
and 5) inform the public (through educational programs) of

the decline of the White-checke dPintail in the West Indies to
increase support for programs intended to reverse this decline.


NATURAL HISTORY. Edited by Julio C. Figueroa Colon. Annals
of the New York Academy of Sciences Vol. 776. Papers
originally presented at a symposium held Nov. 15, 1993 at
Sacred Heart University, San Juan, P.R. 1996. ISBN 0-
89766-949-5 (cloth), ISBN 089766-950-9 (paper). Illus.
Subject and contributor indices, xi + 273pp. $80.00.-At a
council meeting of the New York Academy of Sciences in
November 1912, Dr. Nathaniel Lord Britton proposed a
rather bold long-term research project: a comprehensive
survey of the physical and natural history of Puerto Rico. The
Council approved that action and the Academy embarked on
a project that eventually filled 19 volumes as the Scientific
Survey ofPorto Rico and the Virgin Islands, which co stained
one of the most complete descriptions of the natural history
of any tropical area. In November 1993, almost 81 years to the
day since the Academy meeting, a commemorative one-day
symposium was held at Sacred Heart University in San Juan,
Puerto Rico. This volume is the product of that symposium-
Following an introduction and dedication (to Roy 0.
Woodbury, who has made important contributions to the
study of the region's plants), 17 chapters examine most of the
topics covered in the original Survey. Each ofthe presentations
inclu des a summary of the work accomplished by the Survey,.
a review of work conducted in the region since, and an
evaluation of research opportunities for the future. Simon
Baatz provides a detailed history of the Survey, whereas
Thomas W. Donnelly evaluates the history of the develop-
ment of geology in Puerto Rico. Eight papers are devoted to
several botanical topics, two to insects (1. Maldonado Capriles
and Stuart J. Ramos), two others to other invertebrates (Sonia
Borges), and one each to land mammals (Charles A. Woods),
herpetology (Richard Thomas and Rafael Joglar), and
ornithology (James Wiley). Ricardo E. Alegria examines
archaeological research in the region.
The chapter on ornithological research (pp. 149-179)
summarizes Alexander Wetmore's monumental field work
in Puerto Rico (1911-1912). which stands today as among the
finest conducted in the region. A brief overview Is then
provided on regional advances in ornithology since Wetmorc' s
work, with sections on work in the Virgin Islands and Puerto
Rico and its satellite islands of Mona, Monito, Vieques,
Desecheo, and the Culebra Archipelago. An extensive bibli-
ography of 234 references to the birds of Puerto Rico and the
Virgin Islands is included.-James W. Wiley.

Pay, edited by M. A. Brunt and J. E. Davies. Kluwer Aca-
denmic Publishers, Dordrech t, The Netherlands. 1994.604 pp.
20 x 26.5 cm. 22 color plates, numerous black-and-white
photographs and figures, in-text maps and 3 separate color
maps. Bibliography, Index. ISBN 0-7923-2462-5.
Hardbound. US$230.-The original concept for the publice-
tion of a comprehensive treatise on the natural history of the
Cayman Islands came to Dr. D. R. Stoddart during a visit to
Grand Cayman in 1984. He followed through on that idea by
securing the support of the many authors, along with the
publisher and even the Cayman Islands Governmen L, Indeed,
the Cayman Islands Government made a substantial
commitment to the project by sponsoring several special
studies to fill gaps in the knowledge of the biogeography of
the region. Twenty years after Stoddart's original concept of
the work, this most impressive treatise was published. As
stated in the Preface, the purpose of the book is to bring
together scattered information and to present a coherent
account of the biogeography and ecology of the Cayman
Islands in an easily available reference that could serve as a
foundation on which future work would be based,
The book contains 25 chapters contributed by 30 authors
and co-authors. These chapters include an overview of the
scientific studies in the islands, geology, climate and tides,
ground water, reefs and lagoons (2 chapters), marine algae,
marine invertebrates (3 chapters), marine fishes, vegetation
(3 chapters), terrestrial invertebrates (3 chapters), birds,
mammals, amphibians and reptiles, and Late Quaternary
fossil vertebrates. Two chapters present information on
environmental change and rare and endemic plant and animal
conservation. The extensive (14 page) bibliography is a
useful compilation of sources for the region. Three indexes
(general, genera and species, and cited authors) provide
convenient access to the text. A series of 22 beautiful color
plates of marine and terrestrial subjects introduce the reader
to the spectacular array of organisms inhabiting these islands.
Of particular interest to Society members is the fine
chapter. 'The avifauna of the Cayman Islands: an overview."
by SCO member Patricia E. Bradley. Here the reader is
provided a good history of the study of birds in the Cayman
Islands, followed by detailed analyses of the derivation of the
avifauna, landbird affinities, the present avifauna, migrant
birds, breeding birds, and landbird ecology. Gary Morgan's
chapter on fossil vertebrates provides a fascinating exami-
nation of the islands' former fauna, including birds.
The single volume comes with a handsome slip-case, and

El Pitirre 9(3)

Page 31

Recent Publications (continued)
three color maps (Grand Cayman west. Grand Cayman east,
and Cayman Brac and Little Cayman). It is dedicated to the
memory of Dr. Marco Enrico Clifton Giglioli (1927-1984),
who founded the Mosquito Research and Control Unit in the
Cayman Islands and was the stimulus for much of the
research conducted in the islands,
This ambitious work certainly is acomprehensiveaccount
of the current knowledge of the subjects and will stand as the
starting point for future research on the islands* resources,
Unfortunately, the staggering price of USS230 puts it out of
reach for most of our private libraries. Nevertheless, this is an
essential reference for those working in the Caymans and
surrounding islands.-James W. Wiley

AVEs DE LA ISLA DE CUBA, by Juan Lembeyc. 1850. Edici6n
facsimil.Presentaci6n deManuelFraga Idbarne.Introducci6n
de Francisco Diaz-Fierros Viqueira. Madrid:Xunta de Galicia.
1995. xlvi + 139 pp. 20 plates. softbound. ISBN 84-453-
1357--6.-At long last this important publication is available
at a decent price. After searching for years for an original
1850 copy of Lembeye's book, I located a tattered copy at a
book fair in La Habana last year. This year I was pleasantly
surprised to find this splendid facsimile edition at the same
fair. In addition to the facsimile ofLembeye's Aver, Francisco
Dfaz-Fierros Viqueira has provided an excellent history of
Lembeye life and work, with important material from his
time in Cuba.
Lembeye, who apparently began work in Cuba in the
1830s, made substantial contributions to the knowledge of
Cuba's birds. In his Aves he provided synonomys,
measurements, and distribution, status, and natural history
data for those species known to him. Lembeye's Suplemento
and and Indice de las aves descriptas (with common and

scientific names) are included as in the 1850 issue. Also,
D'Orbigny's (in La Sagra 1839) Catalogo de ias aves
observadas en la isla de Cuba hasia octubre de 1850 is
Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of Lembeye's work is
its illustrations -- hand-colored line cuts, nicely reproduced
in the facsimile edition.These illustrations "borrow" liberally
from John James Audubon's famous bird art. Almost all of
the 20 plates in Lembeye's Aves were lifted, in one form or
another, from Audubon's The Birds of America. Several of
these are near-exact copies of the source, right down to the
prey item and background; e.g., Osprey (Audubon's PI. 15,
No. 3), American Oystercatcher (PL. 324, No, 65), Northern
Pintail (PL.390, No.78). Some plates depict birds in temperate
zone vegetation; e.g., hemlock (Lembeye's Lamin, No. 8) and
tulip tree (Lamin. No. 9). In other illustrations, various species
from several of Audubon's plates are arranged within one of
Lembeye's plates. One non-breeding resident (Baltimore
Oriole, Lam. No. 9) from Audubon's Birds is shown with a
nest. Some are original illustrations, like Lembeye's Bare-
legged Owl and Black-and-white Warbler (which is
nevertheless in the same black larch branch as the warbler
illustrated by Audubon). The Green Heron illustration is
taken from Audubon, but the bird's colors and plumage
patterns are modified to illustrate the island's brunnescens
form. In Lam. No. 3, Audubon's Red-shouldered Hawk has
been used as a form for Lembeye's Common Black-Hawk;
only the plumage has been changed.
The owner of the original copy from which the facsimile
was made has made a few pen and ink notes in the Catalogue,
but otherwise the presentation is crisp and easily read. This is
an important work for the studentof Cuban ornithology. Now
that it can be had at a reasonable price, the contributions of
Lembeye can be more widely appreciated.-James W, Wiley.



Members are advised that election of SCO officers will be
conductedin 1997. Nominations for President, Vice President,
Secretary, and Treasurer should be submitted to Dr. Marcia
Mundle by 1 January 1997. Each nomination must be ac-
companied by a letter demonstrating the candidate's
willingness to stand forelection. The list of candidates will be
published in the first 1997 issue of Ei Pitirre.
Send nominations to:
Dr. Marcia Mundle
c/o Gosse Bird Club
93 Old Hope Road
Kingston 6, Jamaica, West Indies
Telephone and fax: 809-978-5881


The next Society meeting will be held in Aruba, 1-6
August 1997. Further details will appear in the next issue
of El Pitirre.


T-shirts with the Society's logo are available in Large and
X-large at US$15 each (including shipping) from
Rosemarie Gnam, Treasurer SCO, 13 East Rosemont
Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22301, U.S.A. Send your order
and a check or postal money order made payable to the
Society of Caribbean Ornithology. Please don't miss out
on this opportunity to promote the Society!

El Pitirre 9(3)

Page 32


Below is a list of the Caribbean ornithologists and conservationist ts whose contributions have been recognized by the Society
at our annual meetings. These folks have been selected by the membership in their respective island territories for their
contributions to the study of birds and conservation in the Caribbean. Below we list the date of the annual SCO meeting in
which these people were honored.

Year of
Inductee(s) induction Country

George Seaman 1988 U.S. Virgin Islands

Annabelle (Tudy) Dod 1989 Dominican Republic

Lisa Salmon 1990 Jamaica

Dr. Ricards 1991 St. Lucia

Dr. Virgillo Biaggi 1992 Puerto Rico

Orlando Garrido 1993 Cuba
Dr. Abelardo Moreno Bonillo
Rogelio Garcfa

Robert Rose Rosette 1994 Martinique
Pere KR Pinchon
Marcel Bon St. Come

Richard ffrench 1995 Trinidad and Tobago

Pericles Alexander Maillis
Oris Stanley Russell
Alexander (Sandy) Sprunt IV 1996 Bahamas



Volunteers interested in participating in Partners-in-FliEght liaison activities for SCO should contact Joe Wunderle,
International Institute of Tropical Forestry, P. O. Box B, Palmer, Puerto Rico 00721.

El Pitirre 9(3)

Page 33



Foreword by Bradford C. Northrup
Afterword by Paul Butler
Drawings by Mimi Hoppe Wolf
Corrie Herring Hooks Series

6 x 9 cm., 256 pp., 19 color and 20 black and white photographs, 2 maps, 1 table. 1996. ISBN 0-292-79098-8 $40.00
hardcover. ISBN 0-292-79101-1 $19.95, paperback. Available from the University of Texas Press, P. O. Box 7819, Austin,
Texas 78713-7819 USA; telephone: 512-471-7233, *

Ro Wauer, a charter member of the SCO, has produced a new book on his birding adventures in the West Indies. The book
contains 18 chapters describing Ro's visits to islands from Cuba to Grenada. His extensive introduction contains an island-
by-island listing of all 161 endemic birds. Also included are a foreword by Brad Northrup (The Nature Conservancy), an
afterword by Paul Butler (RARE), and an extensive reference section. The narrative includes numerous comments on
environmental threats and suggestions on ecotourism.

A review by Ms. Catherine Levy is forthcoming in El Pitirre.

SSCHWARTZ, edited by Robert Powell and Robert W. Henderson. 1996. Society for the
Study ofAmphibians and Reptiles, New York: Ithaca. Contributions to Herpetology vol. 12.
457 pp. ISBN: 0-916984-37-0. $60.00. Available from Dr. Robert D. AIdridge, Publication
Secretary, The Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, Department of Biology,
St. Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri 63103, USA; telephone: 314-977-3910; fax: 314-
977-3658; e-mail: ssar@sluvca,slu,edu,

This massive volume is dedicated to the memory of Albert Schwartz (1923-1992) and includes 33 papers presented at a 1994
symposium held in his honor. Abstracts of an additional 9 papers are also included. In total, 59 scientists contributed to the
volume. The book contains sections on Evolution, Systematics, and Biogeography; Ecology and Behavior, and Conservation:
as well as history ofWestlndian herpetology and an annotated checklist ofWest Indian reptiles and amphibians. AI Schwartz
is best known for his contributions to our knowledge of West Indian reptiles, amphibians, and butterflies, but he also made
substantial contributions to the region's ornithology. SCO members who were influenced by Al will find the three
"Remembrances of Albert Schwartz" (by William E. Duellman, Richard Thomas, and Robert W. Henderson) of particular



Page 34 El Pitirre 9f;3

Page 34

El Pitirre 9(3)


29-31 January 1997- Federal and International Scien tific
Permits; a bilingual workshop for natural history
museums and collectors, San Diego Natural History
Museum, San Diego, California, USA. (Sally Shelton, Di-
rector, Collections Care and Conservation, extension 226,
San Diego Natural History Museum, P. 0. Box 1390, San
Diego, California 92112, USA; telephone: 619-232-3821;
fax: 619-232-0348; e-mail:

24-28 February 1997 VI Brazilian Ornithological
Congress, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil. (Miguel Marini,
Departamento de Biologia Geral, ICB, Caixa Postal 486,
Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizone, MG,
Brazil, 30.161-970; telephone and fax: 55-31-441-5481; e-

17-20 April 1997 -78th Meeting of the Wilson Ornitho-
logical Society, Kansas State University. Manhattan, Kansas,
USA. (Scientific program inquiries to Dr. John C. Kricher,
Biology Department, Wheaton College, Norton,
Massachusetts 02766, USA; telephone: 508-286-3950; e-
mail: Local Chair John L.
Zimmerman, Division of Biology, Ackert Hall, Kansas State
University,Manhattan, Kansas 66505-4901; telephone: 913-
532-6659 or -6615).

30 April-4May 1997-67th Annual Meeting oftheCooper
Ornithological Society, Hawaii. (Jim Jacobi, Pacific Islands
Science Center, P. 0. Box 44, Hawaii National Park, Hawaii
96718; e-mail: Inquiries concerning
the scientific program to: Steven C. Hess, Pacific Islands
Science Center, P. O. Box 44, Hawaii National Park, Hawaii
96718; e-mail:

12-17 July 1997 Fifth International Congress of
Vertebrate Morphology, University of Bristol, United
Kingdom. (Prof. 1. M. V. Rayner, School .of Biological
Sciences. University of Bristol, Woodland Rd., Bristol BS8
!UG, United Kingdom; fax: 44-117-925-7374; e-mail;
icvm97 @]).

21-23 September 1997 Forum on Wildlife Telemetry:
Innovations, Evaluations, and Research Needs; Snowmass,
Colorado. Held in association with the 1997 Annual
Conference of The Wildlife Society. (Dr. Jane Austin, e-
mail: or Dr. Pamela Pietz, e-mail:; both at National Biological Service,
Northern Prairie Science Center, Jamestown, North Dakota
58401; telephone: 701-252-5363; fax: 701-252-4217).

28 July 3 August 1998 7th International Behavior
Ecology Congress, AsilomarConference Grounds, Monterey,
California, USA. [Walt Koenig; e-mail: or Janis Dickinson; e-mail:; both at Hastings Reservation,
28601 E. Carmel Valley Rd., Carmel Valley, California
93924, USA).

16-22 August 1998 XXII International Ornithological
Congress, Durban, South Africa. (Information Dr. Aldo
Berruti, Department of Ornithology, Durban Natural Science
Museum, Durban, South Africa; Fax: 27-31-262-6114; e-
mail:; Scientific Program -
Dr. Lukas Jenni, Schweizerische Vogelwarte, CH-6204
Sempach, Switzerland; fax: 41-41-462-9710).

El Pitirre 9(3)

Page 35


Dr. Joseph Wunderle, Jr.

Mr. Rocland E,. de Kort

Dr. Marcia Mundle

Dr. Rosemarie Gnam


Mr. Kevel Lindsay
Mr, Roeland de Kort
Bahama Islands
Ms. Carolyn Wardle
Dr. David B. Wingate
Dr. Martin McNicholl
Cayman Islands
Mr. Trevor Baxter
Dr. Hiram Gonzalez

Mr. Stephen Durand
Dominican Republic
Sr. Simon Guerrero
Ms. Aria Johnson
Mr. Maurice Anselme
Dr. Florence Etienne
Ms. Suzanne Davis
Mr. Michel Tanasi

Mr. Gerrard Gray
Puerto Rico
Sr. Pablo Torres
Ms. Martha McGehee
St. Lucia
Mr. Donald Anthony
Trinidad & Tobago
Dr. Gerard Alleng
United States
Dr. Jerome A, Jackson

El Pitirre 9(3)

Page 36

Contents (continued from first page)

O rlando H G arrido ......................................................................................... ...................................................... 9
[N A CHAN~o CARIBBEAN. Jerome A. Jackson ... ......... .......... .......... .................... ....... ........... .......... 12
W ILDLIFE POLICY AND LEGISLATION ..... .. .... .... .... ... ..................... ... ........................................_. .......... __._ .. ..., 16
CAYMn AN ISLANDS REPORT. Patricia E. Bradley ...... ....... ................................................................................ 17
GENERAL ASPECTS OF CONSERVATI-ON IN CUBA. Orlando H. Garrido ................................... ............................... 19
Stephen D urrand ...... .................. .............. .................... .............................. ................................ 20
JAMAICA REPORT. Suzanne Da is .. ........................... ................................... ............................................... 21
RESEARCH AND ORNIrrOLoGICAL Acnvrrms I THE BAHAMAS. Carolyn Wardle ........................................................ 22
Bmo CONSERVATION AcnvmTEs IN TRnmiDAD AND TOBAGO: 1995-1996, Gerard Alleng ...................................., 23
ST. LUCIA. D onald Anthony ....... ........... ............................................................................... ... ....................... ...... 24
GUDELINES FOR DUTIES OF ISLAND REPRESENTATIVEES .................................................. ........ ..................... .... ,. ..... 25
CONs tVATnoN OF THE WHrm-CHEEKED PINTAIL IN TH WEST INDIES ................................. .... ... 25
NAT.RE TOURISM IN THE CARIBBEAN....... ...... .. ....,,,............................. ....._ ..... .... -... 26
L ocAL C oM nrrEE ,....................... ............................. .... .... ....... ...... .. .... ............................... ........... 26
CA o TIBURONES........ .......... ...... .. ,,.,,-............ ....... ..... . ..... ... ............ 27
Espc Ex6 AS ...... .... ......................... ....... ........ ... ...... .._... ...-...,.,. .,..... 27
CABO ROJO SALT FLATS ...... ....... ...... ....... ....... .. ....... ....... ........... ... .. ........... ....... .... .. .... .._. 28
CONDOLENCES ON THE DEIATH OF ROER TORY PETERSON .... ...........,,,,,.............................. 29
Torres-Bdez ................................................................................................................................................. 29
NIIFICANTES on CUBA. Bdrbara Sdnchez Oriaz S. Peris, A. Vanes, D. Rodrfguez. H iram Gonzalez.
Pedro flanco y M E Garca .......................................... ......... ............................................... 30
(DEROCYGNA ARBOREA) EN CUBA. Marrin Acosta Cruz, Lourdes Mugica Valdfs y Armando Albo ............ 30
BAHAMEwSJS BAHwAMENss). Lisa G. Sorenson, Bethany L Woodworth, Lore Ruttan, Amy Harth, and Frank
M cK inney ......................................................... .. ... ................. .. ............. ......... ......................... .......... 30
NATURAL HISTORY. edited by Julio C. Figueroa Colon .................................................... ................ 31
THE CAYMAN ISLANDS: NATURAL HISTORY AND BIOGEOGRAPHY, edited by M. A. Brunt and J. E. Davies .............. 31
AVES DE LA ISLA DE CUBA, by Juan Lembeye ........................................................................................................... 32
SCO LECIONS ............---....---.----...---- .....- ........ ,......,...................................... 32
1997 ANNUAL ME MrNG OF THE SCO ...... .. ... .... ...... ............................. 32
SCO T-SHuRTS .. ....................................................... ..... .........................-...... ... ... .......... .. .... .. 32
CARIBB EAN HONOR ROLE ....._..... ..... ..... ....... ..... ..... ...............,,,,......,,.,,.... .....- ...... ....... .......... ................ 33
VoLUNTEERS NEEDED AS PARTENRS--N-FUGHT LASONS .,,,,,................................... 33
A BtRDER's WEST INDIES,. AN IsLAu-BY-IsLAh'D TOUR, by Roland H, Wauer .............................................. 34
CoNTr runoNS TO WEST INDtAN HEF.'ETOLOGY: A TRIUTa TO ALBERT ScWARTZ, edited by Robert Powell and Robert
W Henderson ............................................ .......... .......... 34
M EETINGS OF INTE EST. ....... ....... ..... __ ._. ......... ,. .... ......, ,,,.,,.,,... ,,.,..... ..... .... ,_. ,,.... .. .... ...... ___........__..... .... ... 35
SCO BOARD MEMBERS ELECrED 1996 -......................................... ....... ... ,,,, .......... __..... ., 36
El Pitirre 9(3) Page 37

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