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Characterization of the Network of Protected Areas in Puerto Rico
Jessica Castro-Prieto, Maya Quiñones, and William A. Gould

Caribbean Naturalist, No. 29

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Caribbean Naturalist 1 J. Castro, M. Quiñones, and W.A. Gould 22001166 CARIBBEAN NATURALIST No. 29N:1o–. 1269 Characterization of the Network of Protected Areas in Puerto Rico Jessica Castro-Prieto1,*, Maya Quiñones2, and William A. Gould2 Abstract - Our goal was to describe the biodiversity and associated landscape diversity and forest cover characteristics within the network of terrestrial protected areas in Puerto Rico. We conducted spatial analysis to quantify different indicators of diversity at these sites. We found that protected areas in Puerto Rico overlap the most species-rich regions on the island, encompass a diverse landscape, are dominated by core forest, and include predicted habitats for 31 threatened vertebrate species analyzed here. However, when we calculated the proportion of the biodiversity features that are actually protected, we concluded that most of them need better representation within protected areas. Other available conservation mechanisms that enhance biodiversity conservation could be employed in addition to expanding the current network of protected areas. Introduction The establishment of protected areas is the most frequently employed strategy to promote in situ biodiversity by conserving natural habitat, preventing its conversion to other uses, and reducing anthropogenic threats (Beale et al. 2013, Chape et al. 2005, Joppa et al. 2008). Hence, over the past 20 years, protected lands have increased in area; they currently occupy 15% of the global land surface and 3.4% of the oceans (Juffe-Bignoli et al. 2014). Quantifying the extent of protected areas (Jenkins and Joppa 2009) represents the most-used indicator to track international progress towards achieving UN Millennium Development Goals for 2020 through its Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 that seeks to protect 17% of terrestrial areas and 10 percent of nationally administered marine areas ( However, simply increasing the extent of protected areas may not be effective in achieving conservation goals (Chape et al. 2005). To address this global concern, recent studies have provided assessments that quantified the ecological performance of a large network of protected areas (Butchart et al. 2015, Cantú-Salazar and Gaston 2010, Craigie et al. 2010, Gaston et al. 2008, Joppa and Pfaff 2011) and evaluated their role in reducing land-cover change and deforestation (Andam et al. 2008, Bruner et al. 2001). In addition, several tools have been developed to assess management effectiveness in protected areas (PAME), including the rapid assessment and prioritization of protected areas management (RAPPAM) and the management effectiveness tracking tool (METT) (Leverington et al. 2010). 1Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus, PO Box 23301, San Juan, PR, USA 00931-3301. 2International Institute of Tropical Forestry, US Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Río Piedras, 1201 Ceiba Street, San Juan, PR, USA 00926-1119. *Corresponding author - Manuscript Editor: Kathleen Sullivan-Sealey Caribbean Naturalist J. Castro, M. Quiñones, and W.A. Gould 2016 No. 29 2 Protected areas in the insular Caribbean occupy approximately 11–15% (25,804 km2–36,000 km2) of the land surface (Chape et al. 2008). These protected sites were established to safeguard what is considered to be one of the 35 global biodiversity hotspots, which were designated because of their high species-richness, endemism, and level of threat (Myers et al. 2000). The Caribbean is home to ~ 14,526 plant and terrestrial vertebrate species, half of which are endemic to the region (Conservation International 2015), and 912 are reported as threatened in the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN 2014). Caribbean islands are particularly vulnerable to extreme weather events, including hurricanes, tropical storms, and projected rising sea levels due to climate change, which could threaten the region’s ecosystems and biodiversity. In addition, approximately 43 million people inhabit these islands (World Bank 2015), and urban areas are expanding on many of them (Stein et al. 2014). Due to the relatively higher vulnerability faced by species and natural ecosystems on islands compared to continents (Simberloff 2000), a clear understanding of the current effectiveness of protected areas in promoting biodiversity conservation in the region would be useful. This information is fundamental to identify conservation gaps and plan strategies to increase the protection of fragile ecosystems and vulnerable species in the Caribbean. We sought to describe the biodiversity within the terrestrial network of protected areas in Puerto Rico. To achieve this goal, we quantified the landscape diversity inside protected areas because this variable is positively correlated with habitat diversity and niche availability (Diacon-Bolli et al. 2012, Kumar et al. 2006). In addition, we analyzed forest structure in protected areas to estimate forest quality (Turner 2005)—a variable very relevant to this study because forests are the main habitat for most terrestrial species in Puerto Rico (Gould et al. 2007). For example, gaps or perforations in forest cover (Table 1) indicate habitat fragmentation which would affect biodiversity conservation (Krauss et al. 2010). We also determined the proportion of high and very high species-richness areas, predicted habitats for threatened species under protection in Puerto Rico, and calculated how much of the critical wildlife areas (CWAs) and important bird and biodiversity areas (IBAs) are inside the current network of protected areas. CWAs were mapped by the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources and represent important compendiums of species and habitats of concern (Ventosa-Febles et al. 2005). BirdLife International ( has identified IBAs throughout the world. These areas include sites of international significance for biodiversity conservation, particularly endangered, endemic, and migratory birds. Species richness, CWA, and IBA layers used in this study represent the most up-to-date biodiversity maps currently available for Puerto Rico. Our study updates information first reported by the Puerto Rico Gap Analysis Project (Gould et al. 2007) to identify key biodiversity areas inside and outside the current network of protected areas in Puerto Rico, the starting point for conservation planning at the landscape level. Caribbean Naturalist 3 J. Castro, M. Quiñones, and W.A. Gould 2016 No. 29 Methods Study area Puerto Rico, ~8900 km2 in area, is located in the Caribbean Archipelago. The island has a tropical climate, with mean annual precipitation ranging between 500 mm and 4400 mm, and a mean annual temperature between 19.4 °C and 29.7 °C (Daly et al. 2003). Puerto Rico has a complex geomorphology and soils represented by alluvial, volcanic, sedimentary, limestone, and serpentine substrates, and a steep topography that includes coastal plains, cliffs, hills, and mountains up to 1300 m in elevation. At a coarse scale, land cover in Puerto Rico is 39% forest, 32% grassland, 13% woodland and shrubland, 11% urban, 3% herbaceous wetlands, 1% forested wetlands, 1% inland water, and less than 1% natural barrens (Gould et al. 2007). Puerto Rico’s terrestrial biodiversity encompasses at least 2780 species of plants (Joglar 2008) and 361 native vertebrates including 277 birds, 52 reptiles, 19 amphibians, and 13 mammals (Joglar 2005, Joglar et al. 2007). Protected-areas data In this study, we analyzed a total of 95 protected areas that represent 8.2% (735.6 km2) of the island’s land surface and associated cays (Gould et al. 2011). Protected areas in Puerto Rico have a mean size of 7.5 km2 (range = less than 0.1 km2– 114.0 km2, median = 2 km2). Eighty-one protected areas are smaller than 10 km2, and 40 of these are smaller than 1 km2 (Fig. 1). The Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DNER) manages or co-manages ~58% Figure 1. Size–frequency distribution of protected areas in Puerto Rico. Caribbean Naturalist J. Castro, M. Quiñones, and W.A. Gould 2016 No. 29 4 (425.7 km2) of the protected areas, the federal government (US Forest Service and US Fish and Wildlife Service) ~28% (206.5 km2), the non-governmental organization Para La Naturaleza ~13% (98.25 km2), and other institutions about 1% (Quiñones et al. 2013). Habitat characteristics Landscape diversity. We quantified landscape diversity in protected areas according to vegetation cover and ecological life zones (ELZs). The Holdridge ecological life-zone classification (ELZ) provides information about vegetation based on climatic, latitudinal, and elevation features (Ewel and Whitmore 1973). In Puerto Rico, there are 6 ELZs: subtropical rainforest, subtropical dry forest, subtropical wet forest, subtropical moist forest, subtropical lower montane wet forest, and subtropical lower montane rainforest (Ewel and Whitmore 1973). We used the land-cover 2000 map generated by the Puerto Rico gap analysis (Gould et al. 2007). This map was derived from Landsat ETM+ satellite images with a spatial resolution of 15 m x 15 m, resulting in 70 land-cover classes (Gould et al. 2007). For our analysis, we selected a subset of 56 vegetation classes that included all vegetation forms, and excluded human-created and non-vegetated covers (e.g., developed, rocky cliffs). We used the Shannon diversity index (H) to calculate the landscape diversity for each landscape feature. This index takes into account both the number of species (analogous to vegetation covers or ELZs), and their relative abundances (evenness or equitability) (Nagendra 2002). It is calculated with the equation H = -SUM [(pi)* ln (pi)], where pi is the relative abundance (or proportion) of different vegetation-cover classes or ELZs (S) inside each protected area. A value of H = 0 represents the lowest landscape diversity, and values ≥1 represent a landscape with high diversity. For both landscape features, we classified the landscape diversity in 5 categories: very low (0 ≤ 0.29), low (0.30–0.59), intermediate (0.60–0.89), high (0.90–1.19), and very high (≥1.20). Forest configuration. We conducted a morphological spatial-pattern analysis (MSPA) to quantify the amount and configuration of the forests in protected areas. The MSPA classifies a raster binary image (e.g., forest vs. non-forest) into 7 classes according to the arrangements of its pixels: core, bridges, islets, loops, edges, perforations, and branches (Table 1; Vogt et al. 2007a, b). We developed the raster binary image (forest vs. non-forest) using a simplified version of the 2000 PRGAP land-cover map that classifies the island into 8 classes (i.e., forests, woodland and shrubland, grasslands, forested wetlands, herbaceous wetlands, inland water, natural barrens, and built-up surface; Gould et al. 2008). For our analysis, we reclassified all woody vegetation (i.e., forests, forested wetlands, woodlands and shrublands) as foreground (= 2), all other vegetation types as background (= 1), and created a missing data category (= 0) for all remaining classes. The MSPA only describes forest pixels in the foreground. Caribbean Naturalist 5 J. Castro, M. Quiñones, and W.A. Gould 2016 No. 29 Vertebrate diversity Species richness. We used the predicted species-richness distribution maps generated by the PRGAP for 201 species of terrestrial vertebrates (Gould et al. 2008). The PRGAP modeled predicted distributions by combining all major habitat elements considered to influence the occurrence of a species across its range and intersecting occurrence records for the species. For example, they identified habitat features (e.g., elevation, vegetation type) important for each species on topographic and land-cover maps at 15-m spatial resolution and then overlaid the species-occurrence records defined within 24-km2 hexagons (Gould et al. 2008). These hexagons represented the minimum mapping unit for interpreting species’ geographic range extent. They extracted habitat features from the literature and species-occurrence records from long-term surveys, reports, and publications. Experts reviewed all data and final distribution maps used for modeling (Gould et al. 2008). The total number of species modeled to occur in each 15-m pixel indicated species richness. They generated predicted distribution maps for 97 resident bird, 25 migratory bird, 47 reptile, 18 amphibian, and 14 mammal species, of which 187 (93%) were native and 14 (7%) were exotics. We used natural breaks to group the geospatial layer of species richness into 5 categories: very low (0–16 species), low (17–34 species), intermediate (35–47 species), high (48–59 species), and very high (60–90 species). Table 1. Morphological spatial-pattern analysis classes, with description and explanation of the potential contribution of each class in conservation planning (P. Vogt, Institute for Environment and Sustainability, Ispera, Italy, pers. comm). Class Description Relevance for planning Core Forest pixels whose distance to non-forest pixels Focus class for biodiversity is greater than the given edge-width (1 pixel = 15 m) conservation, least fragmented. Bridge Set of contiguous non-core forest pixels that Structural connectors or corridors connect at least 2 different cores that could potentially be used by some species to move across the landscape Edge Outer core-boundary Some species prefer to dwell in the foreground/background interface. Perforation Similar to edges, but corresponding to the inner Perforations inside core habitat boundary of the core area are a sign of fragmentation. Loop Similar to bridges but ends are connected to the Informs about connectivity. same core area Islet Isolated forest patches that are too small to contain May be the result of forest loss, core pixels but may also be important as stepping stones between cores. Focus class for restoration. Branch Pixels that do not correspond to any of the May be the result of a bridge or previous 6 categories corridor getting interrupted, or if it continues growing it may provide connectivity. Focus class for restoration. Caribbean Naturalist J. Castro, M. Quiñones, and W.A. Gould 2016 No. 29 6 Finally, we calculated the representation of each species–richness category in protected areas, with particular interest in high and very high species-richness regions. Predicted habitats for threatened species. Using the predicted species-richness distribution maps, we calculated the percentage of predicted habitat currently under protection for 31 threatened species—12 birds, 9 reptiles, 7 amphibians, and 3 mammals. Twenty of these species are endemic and 11 are non-endemic but native to Puerto Rico. Native or indigenous refers to species that occur in an area naturally without human intervention (Manchester and Bullock 2000). Critical wildlife areas (CWAs) and important bird and biodiversity areas (IBAs). The CWAs in Puerto Rico were identified according to faunal composition and abundance, with emphasis on endangered and/or endemic species occurrence, presence of critical habitat, and level of threat on habitats and species (Ventosa-Febles et al. 2005). The CWAs occupy ~1120.95 km2 (853.13 km2 terrestrial, 267.82 km2 marine) of Puerto Rico’s main island, associated cays, and surrounding water. IBAs have been identified in Puerto Rico according to the distribution of 55 key bird-species that include endangered, vulnerable, near-threatened species, birds with restricted ranges, and avian species that aggregate in flocks (BirdLife International 2015). Puerto Rico has a total of 20 IBAs that occupy ~1971.86 km2 of the island (1434.61 km2 land, 537.24 km2 marine; Anadón-Irizarry et al. 2009). We calculated the proportion of terrestrial CWAs and IBAs in protected areas. Results Landscape diversity Landscape-diversity indices derived from vegetation-cover classes ranged from very low to very high (0–2.19, mean = 1.14, median = 1.14); forty-four protected areas (46.3%) had a very high landscape diversity, 26 (24.7%) a high landscape diversity, 11(10.4%) intermediate, 8 (7.6%) low, and 6 (5.7%) very low (Fig. 2). Diversity indices based on ELZs ranged from very low to intermediate (0–0.70, mean = 0.09, median = 0). When we used ELZs as a metric, 90 of 95 protected areas had low and very-low landscape diversity (Fig. 2). Forest configuration Forests classified as core occupied an area of 3412.96 km2 in Puerto Rico (Fig. 3). Almost 16% (543.74 km2) of this core forest was in protected areas (Table 2). Core forest was the most abundant class in protected areas and accounted for 91.74% of the total forest area protected; edge and perforation were the second- and third-most abundant classes (Table 2). Species richness The predicted species richness in protected areas ranged from very low to very high. The very high and high species-richness regions in Puerto Rico occupied ~1200 km2, and 2270 km2, respectively. The network of protected areas captured 10.55% (126.55 km2) of the very high and 13.19% (299.34 km2) of the high speciesrichness regions on the island (Fig. 4 A, B). Caribbean Naturalist 7 J. Castro, M. Quiñones, and W.A. Gould 2016 No. 29 Threatened species, CWAs, and IBAs The total predicted habitat for 31 threatened species in Puerto Rico occupied an area of 4.85 km2, 1.43 km2 (29.5%) of which occurs within a protected area. Figure 2. Frequency distribution of protected areas according to their landscape diversity. Table 2. The extent and relative abundance of forest classes in protected areas and islandwide, and the overall proportion of protection for each class. Inside protected areas Island-wide Relative Relative In protected Forest class Area (km2) abundance (%) Area (km2) abundance (%) areas (%) Core 543.74 91.74 3412.96 72.25 15.93 Edge 22.11 3.73 569.46 12.06 3.88 Perforation 14.44 2.44 276.98 5.86 5.21 Branch 4.32 0.73 182.00 3.85 2.37 Loop 3.96 0.67 100.77 2.13 3.93 Bridge 2.82 0.48 115.50 2.45 2.44 Islet 1.32 0.22 65.92 1.40 2.00 Total 592.71 100.00 4723.58 100.00 35.78 Caribbean Naturalist J. Castro, M. Quiñones, and W.A. Gould 2016 No. 29 8 The proportion of predicted habitat under protection for individual species ranged from 0% to 100% (mean = 47%) (Table 3). For 5 critically endangered species, 5 endangered, and 10 vulnerable species, ≤50% of their predicted habitat is protected (Table 3). In addition, we found a negative correlation between species’ island-wide distribution and percentage of habitat protected (rs = -0.56, P < 0.001). Sixty-eight percent (591.9 km2) and 41% (590.7 km2) of the terrestrial component of CWAs and IBAs, respectively, occur in protected areas (Fig. 5). Discussion Eighty-two percent of the protected areas in Puerto Rico are smaller than10 km2, an area generally considered to be too small to maintain viable populations and to buffer anthropogenic threats from outside (Cantú-Salazar and Gaston 2010). However, our results on landscape diversity indicated that the small size of protected areas in Puerto Rico is not necessarily a determinant of the biodiversity it encompasses. According to the diversity index used here, 70% of the protected areas in Figure 3. Morphological spatial-pattern analysis of the forest in Puerto Rico, and an enlarged sub-region in the northeast to show detailed interpretation of forest classes. Caribbean Naturalist 9 J. Castro, M. Quiñones, and W.A. Gould 2016 No. 29 Puerto Rico encompass high and very high landscape diversity associated with an expected high diversity of habitats and species. We suggest that this index could be used as an indicator of biodiversity in small tropical islands in the Caribbean with similar geology, ecology, and land-use history. However, we identified 2 main limitations of this diversity index for use as an indicator of biodiversity in protected areas. First, it is important to have a good Figure 4. (A) Extent of protection for each species-richness class, and (B) map of the predicted species richness in Puerto Rico. Caribbean Naturalist J. Castro, M. Quiñones, and W.A. Gould 2016 No. 29 10 Table 3. Total overall and percentage protected of predicted habitat for 31 threatened species in Puerto Rico. Information on the legal and conservation status of each species is also described. V = vulnerable, CE = critically endangered, and E = endangered. Island-wide Protected US Endangered Distribution class Species name Group habitat area (m2) habitat (%) Species Act status and conservation status Eleutherodactylus cooki Grant A 9000 0 Threatened Endemic, V Eleutherodactylus eneidae Rivero A 31,275 64 Not Listed Endemic, CE Eleutherodactylus jasperi Drewry & Jones A 6075 22 Threatened Endemic, CE Eleutherodactylus locustus Schmidt A 1350 83 Not Listed Endemic, V Eleutherodactylus portoricensis Schmidt A 21,825 61 Not Listed Endemic, V Eleutherodactylus richmondi Stejneger A 37,575 54 Not Listed Endemic, V Peltophyrne lemur Cope A 3600 69 Threatened Endemic, CE Accipiter striatus venator Wetmore B 63,675 45 Endangered Native, CE Agelaius xanthomus (Sclater) B 98,1225 25 Endangered Endemic, E Amazona vittata (Boddaert) B 5625 24 Endangered Endemic, CE Anas bahamensis L. B 78,300 58 Not Listed Native, V Buteo platypterus brunnescens Danforth & Smyth) B 22,1850 25 Endangered Endemic, CE Caprimulgus noctitherus (Wetmore) B 158,850 24 Endangered Endemic, E Dendrocygna arborea (L.) B 178,425 50 Endangered Native, CE Fulica caribaea Ridgway B 24,975 26 Not Listed Native, V Oxyura jamaicensis (Gmelin) B 115,875 49 Not Listed Native, V Patagioenas inornata (Vigors) B 390,600 24 Endangered Native, E Pelecanus occidentalis L. B 645,075 38 Endangered Native, E Setophaga angelae Kepler & Parkes B 66,600 40 Not Listed Endemic, V Erophylla sezekorni (Gundlach) M 144,900 31 Not Listed Native, V Brachyphylla cavernarum Gray M 73,125 34 Not Listed Native, V Monophyllus redmani portoricensis Miller M 164,925 34 Not Listed Endemic, V Chilabothrus inornatus (Reinhardt) R 882,225 17 Endangered Endemic, V Chilabothrus monensis granti (Stull) R 8775 77 Endangered Native, CE Chilabothrus monensis monensis (Zenneck) R 900 100 Endangered Endemic, V Ctenonotus cooki Grant R 52,875 44 Not Listed Endemic, E Ctenonotus poncensis Stejneger R 16,7850 30 Not Listed Endemic, V Cyclura cornuta stejnegeri Barbour and Noble R 900 100 Threatened Endemic, E Mabuya mabouya sloanei (Daudin) R 303,975 25 Not Listed Native, V Sphaerodactylus micropithecus Schwartz R 450 100 Endangered Endemic, CE Xiphosurus roosevelti Grant R 14,625 86 Endangered Endemic, CE Caribbean Naturalist 11 J. Castro, M. Quiñones, and W.A. Gould 2016 No. 29 understanding of the scale of the landscape features selected to calculate the index. For example, our results suggest high biodiversity for 1 landscape feature (vegetation cover) despite a finding of low landscape-diversity for another (ELZs). An explanation for this contradictory result is the larger extent of ELZs in comparison to land-cover data and the size of most protected areas on the island. Second, the assumed generality of a positive relationship between landscape diversity and species biodiversity should be locally tested because biodiversity might depend on attributes other than landscape diversity. For example, one study conducted in Japan found that bird species whose geographic distribution is small were most diverse in less-diverse landscapes (Katayama et al 2014). We found that existing protected areas conserve the predicted habitats for all but 1 threatened species modeled by PRGAP. However, predicted habitats here rely on occurrence records that only provide information about the probability that a species occurs or not in a particular location. Hence, more complex studies are needed to understand if species are being successfully protected not only in terms of their presence/absence, but also according to attributes of species conservation assessed at the population level including: population viability, ecological functionality, genetic robustness, health, representativeness in terms of its current and historical range, and resiliency (Redford et al. 2011). We found that protected areas encompassed similar proportions of the regions with very high and very low species richness, which indicates the importance of understanding landscape variation in biodiversity and a landscape design approach to maximize biodiversity conservation in prioritizing new areas to protect. In general, unprotected regions with high species-richness, and that are CWAs or IBAs occurred in lands adjacent to existing protected areas (Fig. 5) where protected areas are portions of larger regions with similar ecological characteristics such as the karst region in the north of the island. These unprotected sites Figure 5. Map of Puerto Rico showing the unprotected critical wildlife areas and important bird and biodiversity areas. Caribbean Naturalist J. Castro, M. Quiñones, and W.A. Gould 2016 No. 29 12 would be affected by future land development, which have been characterized by extensive urban sprawl over the previous several decades (Martinuzzi et al. 2008) even in non-urban zoning districts (López-Marrero and Hermansen-Báez 2011). In general, land development on the island has been occurring in the lowlands, near roads, close to existing urban areas, and in ecological zones with the least amount of protection (Helmer 2004, Helmer et al. 2008, Keenaway and Helmer 2007). Although the human population has been declining in Puerto Rico during the last decade (US Census Bureau 2015), there is a continuing need to integrate conservation in land-use planning as new housing units, roads, and other developments keep expanding on the island. Conclusion and Recommendations Protected areas in Puerto Rico are effective in conserving species because they are located within the most species-rich regions on the island and because they include sites classified as CWAs or IBAs. Additionally, they encompass diverse landscapes, are dominated by core forest, and include predicted habitats for 31 threatened vertebrate species analyzed here. However, when we calculated the proportion of these biodiversity features that are actually protected, we concluded that most of these features need better representation within the current network of protected areas. In addition to expanding the current network of protected areas, biodiversity conservation within Puerto Rico could be enhanced through enforcement and promotion of existing conservation mechanisms, including implementation of an island-wide land-use plan (Junta de Planificación 2014), better communication of actions required to mitigate land development (e.g., land acquisition and transference to the DNER), and an improved designation of critical habitats under the Endangered Species Act. In the case of El Yunque National Forest, the largest protected area in Puerto Rico, better interagency collaboration in planning and enforcement of conservation regulations in the surrounding lands would improve conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services both within and outside the national forest. Studies show that promoting forested coverage beyond the administrative boundary of a protected area increases the effective size of the area conserved and its capacity to conserve viable populations, species richness, and ecosystem services (DeFries et al. 2005, Hansen and DeFries 2007, Hull et al. 2011, Zaccarelli et al. 2008). Finally, government programs that support biodiversity conservation on private lands, such as the US Forest Service Forest Stewardship Program (USDA-FS 2014) and the US Fish and Wildlife Service Partners for Wildlife (USFWS 2014) which assist and incentivize private landowners to manage part of their land for conservation, should be supported and promoted. Even in urbanized landscapes, practices such as encouraging wildlife-friendly gardens and infrastructure (e.g., wildlife-friendly plants, lighting) represent opportunities for education and for involving citizens in biodiversity conservation (Dearborn and Kark 2009, Goddard et al. 2010). Caribbean Naturalist 13 J. Castro, M. Quiñones, and W.A. Gould 2016 No. 29 Acknowledgments We thank BirdLife International, the Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico, C.D. Ortiz Maldonado of the Coastal Zone Management Program at the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, L.J. Herrera, and Ciudadanos del Karso for providing relevant data for this study. Special thanks to A. Lugo, E. Helmer, S. Martinuzzi, M.J. Andrade, and J. Zimmerman for their valuable comments and critical reviews of this paper, and to L. Villanueva for his contribution in updating the protected areas database. We conducted all research at the International Institute of Tropical Forestry in collaboration with the University of Puerto Rico. This research was supported by the US Geological Survey Biological Resources Division National Gap Program cooperative agreement 01HQPG0031 (01-IA-111201-002). Literature Cited Anadón-Irizarry, V., J. Corven, V. 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