An Easter Surprise for the Critically Endangered (Only 19 Left Worldwide) Puerto Rican Sharp-shinned Hawk (By The Peregrine Fund):April 4th, 2018 by Izabela Domenico
We got some good news this morning! The Peregrine Foundation shared with us their newsletter after they received their Lyon’s equipment, which will be used to help with the propagation of the Puerto Rican Sharp-shinned Hawk, now on the verge of extinction. Read their newsletter below:
The Puerto Rican Sharp-shinned Hawk has been at the forefront of our minds and actions since Peregrine Fund biologist, Russell Thorstrom, returned from a recent surveying trip and reported that he found only 19 birds remaining after hurricane Maria devastated their forest stronghold on the island this past fall. With just 19 birds known to be remaining in the entire world, The Peregrine Fund leapt into action, developing a plan to save this species from looming extinction.
We asked for your help and you ANSWERED!
You came to the rescue and have provided donations totaling more than $42,000. We’ve already put these funds to work by sending another Peregrine Fund biologist and raptor propagation expert, Hana Weaver, to Puerto Rico to search for eggs, support the nutritional needs of the remaining birds, and implement a recovery process.
We want to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has supported this recovery effort.
Yesterday, on Easter Sunday, we received a small miracle. Hana sent notice that the first Puerto Rican Sharp-shinned Hawk egg of the season was discovered!
This is phenomenal news as there are only three pairs of hawks that have shown any signs of interest in nesting in the little remaining habitat on the island. Hana reports that when she arrived at the nest site yesterday morning, the female was settled tightly in the bowl of her nest. After further observation, Hana noted, “she is very cautious about her movements and gently shuffles the egg under her as she settles into the nest, constantly keeping her eyes trained on the egg.”
Hana estimates that the possible lay date for the egg was sometime between 10 a.m. on 30 March and 6:50 a.m. on 1 April. Based on the female hawk’s behavior on the 30th, Hana is guessing that the egg was laid in the latter half of that time frame.
The next steps for these early stages of the recovery process will include watching the nests carefully and providing supplementary food for the adults while they incubate the eggs. It is expected that the female will lay another one or two eggs within the next few days.
Melissa Murillo, our amazing volunteer, has been observing the birds while we were working to raise enough funding to send Hana to the island to help. Once the eggs are much older, Hana and Melissa will climb the tree, collect the eggs, and transfer them to an incubator provided to us by Lyon Technologies, Inc. We are incredibly grateful to Lyon for their generous discount on the cost of the incubators, candlers, and intensive care units and all of their work to get everything shipped in perfect condition and on time.
By collecting the eggs, we can ensure that they will remain safe and the chicks will hatch without any potential harm from predators or environmental hazards such as storms. Additionally, the pair of hawks will “re-nest,” meaning they will lay another entire set of two or three eggs so that we will be able to produce twice as many chicks from this single pair of birds.
We are incredibly excited about this wonderful news from Hana and wanted to share with you, our supporters, this first success in the recovery of this critically endangered hawk. Without your devotion to conserving endangered raptors, we would not be able to help this species come back from such a terrible natural disaster.
If you have not yet had the opportunity to make a gift to help prevent the Puerto Rican Sharp-shinned Hawk from going extinct, you can still contribute to meeting our mission critical goal of $100,000. You can provide another miracle to this species now at https://peregrinefund.org/crisis-fund
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