Reproductive and Spatial Ecology of Red-billed Tropicbirds

In the western North Atlantic, the Caribbean Region represents a rich and diverse seabird community. The region supports ca. 25 species of breeding seabirds on over 900 colonies. Since 2012, we have deployed tracking devices (GLS and GPS) on St. Eustatius and Little Tobago to measure movement patterns and connectivity of Red-billed Tropicbirds (Phaethon aethereus). We are also closely collaborating with the University of the West Indies in advising M.S. student Hannah Madden for the study of the breeding biology and spatial ecology of the local population of vulnerable Red-billed Tropicbird . We are examining the reproductive ecology of tropicbirds on St. Eustatius, with a specific focus on predation at the nest site. In April of 2016, we conducted a pilot study to deploy GPS loggers on breeding adults; based on this effort we were able to improve our tracking effort during the winters of 2018 and 2019. These data will complement our earlier studies on the connectivity of Caribbean seabird species.

Research
Collaborators

Patrick Jodice, USGS South Carolina Cooperative Research Unit / Clemson University

Will Mackin, Guilford College

Hannah Madden, St. Eustatius National Parks

Graduate student:

Hannah Madden (MS) University of West Indies

 

Funding

USFWS, USGS, American Bird Conservancy, Avian Research & Conservation Institute, Jost Van Dyke Preservation Society, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation