Puerto Rican nightjar

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Puerto Rican nightjar
Antrostomus noctitherus -Puerto Rico-8.jpg
In Puerto Rico
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Caprimulgiformes
Family: Caprimulgidae
Genus: Antrostomus
Species: A. noctitherus
Binomial name
Antrostomus noctitherus
(Wetmore, 1919)

Caprimulgus noctitherus

The Puerto Rican nightjar or Puerto Rican whip-poor-will (Antrostomus noctitherus) is a very rare bird found in the coastal dry scrub forests in localized areas of southwestern Puerto Rico.

It was described from bones found in cave deposits and a single specimen taken in 1888. The species was considered extinct, the specimen being the last remnant of a "prehistoric" bird. However, it was found to be extant in 1961; it had been overlooked due to its secretive habits and because its habitat was not surveyed.

The current population is estimated to be between 1,400 and 2,000 mature birds and expected to be stable as long as the habitat is not altered and introduced predators—mongooses, rats and cats—are controlled.[2] The classification as endangered is mainly because the special habitat on which it depends is much fragmented by degraded and unsuitable areas; thus the population is very patchily distributed.

The areas of occurrence are protected and it has been proposed to link areas of occurrence by reforestation with native plant species. However, a proposed wind farm near Guayanilla has been granted exemption from the Endangered Species Act under an "incidental take" permit;[3] it has been suggested[where?] that up to 5% of the nightjar's population might suffer accidental death by collision with the wind turbines.[citation needed]

Gallery of the Puerto Rican Nightjar
Puerto Rican nightjar sitting in leaves. 
Nightjar on the ground surrounded by leaves with wings spread. 
Puerto Rican nightjar chick. 
Puerto Rican nightjar with chick. 

See also[edit]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2004). Caprimulgus noctitherus. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 11 May 2006. Database entry includes justification for why this species is critically endangered
  2. ^ BirdLife International (2007) Species factsheet: Caprimulgus noctitherus.
  3. ^ "Windfarm permit "seriously contradicts" Endangered Species Act". BirdLife International. 2007-04-01. Retrieved 2007-07-10. [dead link]

External links[edit]