Joseph M. Wunderle, Jr.
Wildlife Team Leader
Sabana Field Research Station
Rte 988, km 6.5, Barrio Sabana
Contact Joseph M. Wunderle, Jr.
Current research focuses on the ecology, distribution, and conservation of an endangered Nearctic-Neotropical migrant bird, the Kirtland's Warbler and associated species on the wintering grounds in The Bahamas. Because the warbler feeds on a mixed fruit and arthropod diet we are also studying abundance and phenology of the warbler's favored fruits as well as abundance of arthropod prey and the factors that affect the abundance of these food resources. Current research also involves studies to determine how the habitat is produced and maintained. Because our studies have focused primarily on the island of Eleuthera, we are now also conducting winter surveys of the warbler on other islands of the Bahamas archipelago to document variation in warbler habitat use and abundance.
Ecology, behavior and conservation biology of Neotropical birds and Nearctic-Neotropical migrant birds and their response to human and natural disturbances with the objective of identifying or devising management practices to ameliorate adverse effects. Interests also include disturbance ecology, especially the effects of hurricanes and droughts on tropical wildlife and their food resources.
Previous research includes diverse studies mostly on birds: Avian song variation during development and its role in species and individual recognition; breeding ecology, social behavior and a morph ratio cline in the Bananaquit (a nectarivorous Caribbean songbird); response of avian nectarivores to variation in food supplies; development of avian foraging behavior; distribution and ecology of overwintering Nearctic-Neotropical migrant birds in the Caribbean; the effects of hurricanes on terrestrial bird populations and their food resources; role of animal seed dispersal in accelerating native forest regeneration on degraded tropical lands; the contribution of shade coffee plantations to avian diversity in agricultural landscapes; movements and habitat use of the Puerto Rican boa; and bird and bat diversity of terra firme forest in Amazonian Brazil and its response to treefall gaps and reduced-impact logging.
Why This Research is Important
My Forest Service research focuses on natural or anthropogenic disturbances that may negatively affect sensitive, threatened or endangered tropical wildlife with the goal of identifying and developing management actions that will ameliorate effects of these disturbances. The basic goal in my research, teaching, outreach, and capacity building activities is to help preserve tropical forest biodiversity. This biodiversity plays an important role in ecosystem services such as plant pollination and seed dispersal. regulating services by scavenging carcasses and waste, controlling populations of invertebrates and vertabrates pests, as well as importance for many forms of outdoor recreation and ecotourism, and is recognized for cultural and intrinsic values.
- Univ. of Minnesota, Ph.D. Ecology & Beahvior 1980
- University of Minnesota, M.S. Ecology & Behavior 1976
- University of Maine, B.S. Biology 1971
- Wildlife Team Leader & Research Wildlife Biologist, International Institute of Tropical Forestry
1988 - Current
- Associate Professor of Biology, University of Puerto Rico, Cayey, PR
1985 - 1990
- Assistant Professor of Biology, University of Puerto Rico, Cayey, PR
1982 - 1985
- Course Coordinator & Instructor, Organization for Tropical Studies, Costa Rica
1982 - 1982
Responsible for a graduate tropical ecology field course in Costa Rica
- Post-doctoral research, Independent researcher, Grenada & Tobago, West Indies
1981 - 1982
Funded by several competitive grants
- Visiting Assistant Professor of Zoology, Dept. of Biology, North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC
1980 - 1981
- Assistant Course Coordinator, Organization for Tropical Studies, Costa Rica
1979 - 1979
Assisted coordinating and running a graduate tropical ecology field course in Costa Rica
- Director & Headmaster, Canadian Junior College for Marine Biology, Carriacou, Grenada, W.I.
1977 - 1978
Responsible for 45 students, 6 instructors, & 18 local support staff in this private school accredited by Ontario Ministry of Education.
- Instructor, Canadian Junior College for Marine Biology, Carriacou, Grenada, W.I.
1975 - 1976
Instructor for grade 13 (Ontario) ecology and human evolution and assisted in lab and field in marine biology for two years 1975-76 & 1977-78
- Neotropical Ornithological Society, President (2007 - 2011)
- Neotropical Ornithological Society, Chair, Francois Vuilleumier Fund For Student Research (2004 - 2008)
- Neotropical Ornithological Society, Co-Chair Scientific Program, Neotropical Ornithological Congress (2007 - 2007)
- Neotropical Ornithological Society, President Elect (2004 - 2007)
- Society for Caribbean Ornithology, President (1995 - 1997)
- Society for Caribbean Ornithology, Vice President (1991 - 1995)
Awards & Recognition
- Ralph W. Schreiber Conservation Award, 2015
From the American Ornithologists Union in recognition of "extraordinary scientific contributions to the conservation, restoration, and preservation of birds and their habitats".
- President's Award, 2011
From Soc. for Conservation & Study of Caribbean Birds for contributions to the Soc. and bird conservation in Bahamas & Caribbean
- Research & Management Partnership Award, 2005
From Wings Across the Americas program, USDA FS for Kirtland's Warbler Research & Training Project in Bahamas; shared with other participants.
- Investigations Award, 2003
From Partner's in Flight, for research findings of the Kirtland's Warbler Research & Training project in The Bahamas
- Distinguished Service Award, 2003
For distinguished service to the Society for Caribbean Ornithology
- Fellow, 1993
American Ornithologists Union
- Elected Member, 1985
American Ornithologists Union
Featured Publications & Products
- Wunderle, Jr., Joseph M., Jr..; Lebow, Patricia K.; White, Jennifer D.; Currie, Dave; Ewert, David N. 2014. Sex and age differences in site fidelity, food resource tracking, and body condition of wintering Kirtland's Warblers (Setophaga Kirtlandii) in the Bahamas.
- Wunderle, Joseph, .; Currie, Dave; Helmer, Eileen H.; Ewert, David N.; White, Jennifer D.; Ruzycki, Thomas S.; Parresol, Bernard; Kwit, Charles. 2010. Kirtland s warblers in anthropogenically disturbed early-successional habitats on Eleuthera, The Bahamas.
- Wunderle, Jr, Joseph, Jr..; Arendt, Wayne J. 2011. Avian studies and research opportunities in the Luquillo Experimental Forest: a tropical rain forest in Puerto Rico.
- Beissinger, S.R.; Wunderle, Jr, J.M..; Meyers, J.M.; Saether, B.E.; Engen, S. 2008. Anatomy of a bottleneck: diagnosing factors limiting population growth in the Puerto Rican Parrot.
- Beltran, W.; Wunderle Jr., J.M., Jr. 2013. Determinants of tree species preference for foraging by insectivorous birds in a novel Prosopis - Leucaena woodland in Puerto Rico: the role of foliage palatability.
- Vázquez Plass, E. O.; Wunderle, Jr., J. M., Jr. 2013. Avian distribution along a gradient of urbanization in northeastern Puerto Rico.
- Larkin, Claire C.; Kwit, Charles; Wunderle, Jr., Joseph M..; Helmer, Eileen H.; Stevens, M. Henry H.; Roberts, Montara T.K.; Ewert, David N. 2011. Disturbance type and plant succesional communities in Bahamian dry forests.
- Cooper, NW ; Ewert, DN ; Wunderle, JM ; Helmer, EH ; Marra, PP . 2019. Revising the wintering distribution and habitat use of the Kirtland s warbler using playback surveys, citizen scientists, and geolocators.
- Campos-Cerqueira, Marconi ; Arendt, Wayne J.; Wunderle, Joseph M.; Aide, T. Mitchell. 2017. Have bird distributions shifted along an elevational gradient on a tropical mountain.
- Rockwell, Sarah M.; Wunderle, Joseph M.; Sillett, T. Scott; Bocetti, Carol I.; Ewert, David N.; Currie, Dave; White, Jennifer D.; Marra, Peter P. 2017. Seasonal survival estimation for a long-distance migratory bird and the influence of winter precipitation.
- Wunderle, Joseph, Jr..; Arendt, Wayne. 2017. The Plight of Migrant Birds Wintering in the Caribbean: Rainfall Effects in the Annual Cycle.
- Bontemps, Damien; Cuevas, Elvira; Ortiz, Eileen; Wunderle Jr., Joseph; Joglar, Rafael. 2016. Diet of the non-native spectacled caiman (Caiman crocodilus) in Puerto Rico.
- Fleming, Genie M.; Wunderle Jr., Joseph; Ewert, David N. 2016. Diet preferences of goats in a subtropical dry forest and implications for habitat management.
- Hudson, Lawrence N.; Wunderle M., Joseph; Others, And. 2016. The database of the PREDICTS (Projecting Responses of Ecological Diversity In Changing Terrestrial Systems) project.
- Fleming, G. M.; Wunderle, J. M.; Ewert, D. N.; O'Brien, J. J.; Helmer, E. H. 2015. Functional attributes of two subtropical shrubs and implications for the distribution and management of endangered bird habitat.
- Fleming, Genie M.; Wunderle, Joseph M., Jr..; Ewert, David N.; O'Brien, Joseph. 2014. Estimating plant biomass in early-successional subtropical vegetation using a visual obstruction technique.
- Beltran, W.; Wunderle Jr., Joseph, Jr. 2014. Temporal dynamics of arthropods on six tree species in dry woodlands on the Caribbean Island of Puerto Rico.
- McFarland, K. P.; Rimmer, C. C.; Goetz, J. E.; Aubry, Y.; Wunderle Jr., J. M., Jr..; Hayes-Sutton, A.; Townsend, J. M.; Llanes Sosa, A.; Kirkconnell, A. 2013. A winter distribution model for Bicknell's Thrush (Catharus bicknelli), a conservation tool for a threatened migratory songbird.
- Boal, C.W.; Wunderle Jr., J.M., Jr..; Arendt, W.J. 2013. Autumn monitoring of resident avifauna on Guana Island, British Virgin Islands.
- Wunderle Jr., J. M., Jr. 2013. Birds of Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire.
- Ewert, David N.; Hall, Kimberly R.; Wunderle, Jr., Joseph M..; Currie, Dave; Rockwell, Sarah M.; Johnson, Scott B.; White, Jennifer D. 2012. Duration and rate of spring migration of Kirtland s Warblers.
- Lugo, Ariel E.; Carlo, T.A.; Wunderle, Jr., J.M. 2012. Natural mixing of species: novel plant animal communities on Caribbean Islands.
- Brokaw, N.; Zimmerman, J.K.; Willig, M.; Camilo, G.; Covich, A.; Crowl, T.; Fetcher, N.; Haines, B.; Lodge, J.; Lugo, A.E.; Myster, R.; Pringle, C.M.; Sharpe, J.; Scatena, F.; Schowalter, T.; Silver, W.; Thompson, J.; Vogt, D.; Vogt, K.; Waide, R.; Walker, L.; Woolbright, L.; Wunderle, J.M., Jr..; Zou, X. 2012. Response to disturbance, Chapter 5.
- Servat, G. P.; Wunderle Jr., J. M., Jr. 2012. The IXth Neotropical Ornithological Congress in Peru (Cusco, 8-14 November 2011).
- Beltran, Jose William; Wunderle, Jr., Joseph M.; Arendt, Wayne J. 2010. Changes in home range of breeding and post-breeding male Pearly-eyed Thrashers in the Luquillo Mountains of Puerto Rico.
- Vazquez-Plass, Edgar O.; Wunderle, Joseph M., Jr. 2010. Differences in knowledge about birds and their conservation between rural and urban residents of Puerto Rico.
- Helmer, E.H.; Ruzycki, Thomas S.; Wunderle, Jr. Joseph M.; Vogesser, Shannon; Ruefenacht, Bonnie; Kwit, Charles; Brandeis, Thomas J.; Ewert, David N. 2010. Mapping tropical dry forest height, foliage height profiles and disturbance type and age with a time series of cloud-cleared Landsat and ALI image mosaics to characterize avian habitat.
- Walters, Jeffrey R.; Derrickson, Scott R.; Fry, D. Michael; Haig, Susan M.; Marzluff, John M.; Wunderle Jr., Joseph, Jr. 2010. Status of the California Condor (Gymnogyps californianus ) and efforts to achieve its recovery.
- Castro Arellano, Ivan; Presley, Steven J.; Willig, Michael R.; Wunderle, Joseph M., Jr..; Saldanha, Luiz N. 2009. Reduced-impact logging and temporal activity of understorey bats in lowland Amazonia.
- Presley, S.J.; Willig, M.R.; Saldanha, L.N.; Wunderle, Jr., J.M..; Castro-Arellano, I. 2009. Reduced-impact logging has little effect on temporal activity of frugivorous bats (Chiroptera) in lowland Amazonia.
- Ewert, D. N.; Wunderle, Jr., Joseph, Jr..; Eberly, C.W.; Huber, P.W.; Carey, E. 2009. The Kirtland s Warbler: interagency and international cooperation works.
- Wunderle Jr., Joseph, Jr. 2008. From the past to the globalized future for Caribbean birds.
- Castro-Arellanos, Ivan; Presley, Steven J.; Saldanha, Luis Nelio; Willig, Michael R.; Wunderle Jr., Joseph M., Jr. 2007. Effects of reduced impact logging on bat biodiversity in terra firme forest of lowland Amazonia..
- Wunderle, Joseph, Joseph M..; Currie, David; Ewert, David N. 2007. The potential role of hurricanes in the creation and maintenance of Kirtland's warbler winter habitat in the Bahamian Archipelago..
- BEISSINGER, STEVEN R. J.; REED, MICHAEL; WUNDERLE, JR., JOSEPH M. ROBINSON.; FINCH, DEBORAH M. 2000. REPORT OF THE AOU CONSERVATION COMMITTEE ON THE PARTNERS IN FLIGHT SPECIES PRIORITIZATION PLAN.
- Wunderle, Joseph M., Jr. 1994. Census Methods for Caribbean Land Birds.
|Have bird distributions shifted along an elevation gradient with climate change over a 17-year period in El Yunque National Forest?|
Expected elevational shifts in bird distributions with global warming may be species-specific and, hence not readily predictable for many bird s ...
|When Insectivorous Birds Want to Forage in Puerto Rico, What Trees do They Prefer?|
High foliage palatability of some alien tree species may weaken the effect of the so-called enemy release that occurs when introduction of a pla ...
|Winter Ecology and Conservation Implications for the Endangered Migrant Kirtland's Warbler in the Bahamas|
Winter droughts reduce the endangered Kirtland's Warbler's food supply and body condition in the Bahamas, which affect its survival and breeding ...