US Forest Service Research & Development
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  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
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Wayne J. Arendt, PhD

Supervisory Research Wildlife Biologist
Jardin Botanico Sur, 1201 Calle Ceiba
Rio Piedras
Puerto Rico
United States

Contact Wayne J. Arendt, PhD

Current Research

1. Long-term (44 yr) monitoring of a dry-forest bird community within the Guanica Biosphere Reserve in SW Puerto Rico. Non-Forest Service Collaborators: John R. Faaborg (University of Missouri, Columbia), Judith D. Toms (Eco-Logic Consulting and Canadian Wildlife Service), and Miguel Canals (Puerto Rico's Department of Natural and Environmental Resources).

2. Comparing structure and diversity of vertebrate and invertebrate communities in a landscape mosaic: a first step in evaluating and conserving Nicaragua's biodiversity and promoting sustainable ecotourism in critical watersheds in a rapidly changing climate, in collaboration with USFS/IITF-International Cooperation (Gerald P. "Jerry" Bauer) (Major non-Forest Service Collaborators: Conservation NGO Paso Pacifico (Sarah M. Otterstrom); Central American University (UCA, Marvin A. Torrez); Fundacion Cocibolca (Jose Manuel Zolotoff, Roger Mendieta).

3. Comparison of avian diversity, abundance, and habitat use in shade coffee and broadleaf forest in the Mombacho Volcano Reserve: an international cooperative study. Non-Forest Service Collaborator: Fundacion Cocibolca (Jose Manuel Zolotoff and Roger Mendieta).

4. Training Caribbean and Mesoamerican biologists, tour guides and local youth in wildlife ecology, animal survey techniques, bird study and identification in the field and in hand. Current and past Instructors: Marvin A. Torrez (Central American University and the Juan Roberto Zarruck Biological Station, Finca Santa Maura); Mariamar Gutiérrez (Ph.D. candidate, University of Massachusetts, Amherst); Pomares Salmerón Belli (currently with a natural resources agency in Spain).

5. Urban bird communities as indicators of watershed integrity and vehicles for community engagement. In collababoration with USFS/IITF-International Cooperation (Jerry Bauer) and the USFS Northern Research Station (David King and Susannah Lerner).

Research Interests

I am a research ornithologist and have been with the USDA Forest Service’s International Institute of Tropical Forestry for 38 years. I am stationed at the Sabana Research Field Station in the Luquillo Experimental Forest (El Yunque National Forest) in northeastern Puerto Rico. My research, natural resources management, and community outreach interests are broad, ranging from avian morphometrics, life histories, migratory bird ecology and population dynamics, to sustaining the biodiversity of vertebrate and invertebrate fauna and forest health throughout the Neotropics in a constantly changing climate by saving rare, often endemic and endangered animals from extinction and their habitats from destruction or alteration, including anthropic intervention. Over the years, I have written some 200 scientific articles and technical reports and have trained hundreds of biologists, natural resource stewards, including eco- and avetourism guides, in the principles and techniques of wildlife ecology, population surveillance, avian community dynamics, ectoparasitism, and bird identification (audio-visual recognition) throughout the Caribbean and Mesoamerica. As a result of my mentoring and technical training, several private reserve owners and nature tour guides in Nicaragua have increased their livelihoods through eco- and avetourism revenues. More recently, I have broadened my scope to include urban forestry by initiating avian research in green areas as part of the USAID/USFS-IITF Santo Domingo ULTRA project in collaboration with David King (Research Wildlife Biologist) and Susannah Lerner (Urban Ecologist) at the USFS Northern Research Station located on the campus of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Past Research

Scientific accomplishments and contributions

Knowledge and discovery

1. Philornis ectoparasitism Research in the Luquillo Experimental Forest.

2. Birds, rats, bees, and bots: keystone species in Puerto Rican Parrot Restoration efforts.

3. Avian Supertramps in the West Indian Fauna.

4. Pearly-eyed Thrasher’s Response to Habitat Destruction Caused by Hurricanes

5. Long-term avian research in mature dry forest within the Guánica Biosphere Reserve 6. Avian Ecomorphology.

Featured Publications & Products


Research Highlights


Agroscapes Combined with Preserved Forest Remnants Promote Biodiversity at Local and Landscape Levels

Agroecological practices and resultant agroscapes, coupled with the preservation of forest remnants, have a positive impact on local biodiversit ...


Avian Diversity in the Agroscapes of Nicaragua's Northern Highlands

Creating biological corridors to sustain biodiversity, while increasing revenue for local farmers


Distribution of keystone species in the Datanlí-El Diablo Reserve, Nicaragua: Continued presence of game and other species of conservation concern confirms the area’s integrity as a nature reserve

24 keystone vertebrate species remotely photographed within Nicaragua’s northern Datanlí-El Diablo Nature Reserve exemplify wise management i ...


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 ...


Organic and Rustic Coffee Plantations House a Higher Density of Keystone Avian Habitat Specialists

The newly derived phyto-geoclimate summary measure (PGSM) of vegetation structure and our avian abundance summary measure (AASM) afford research ...


Photographic Key Determines Age and Gender in Two Thryothorus Wrens From Nicaragua's Pacific Slope

A visual and metric aid to determining age and gender in tropical wrens


Steep Decline of a Winter Resident Bird Community in Puerto Rico Needs Swift Action

The migratory bird community inhabiting one of the Caribbean's most unadulterated and extensive remaining dry forests, the Gu�nica Biosphere R ...


Urban Green Areas and Birds Save the Dominican Government and Santo Domingo Residents Millions of Dollars Each Year

In the Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo’s green areas and avian communities provide a full complement of ecosystem services to its residents, ...


Last updated on : 09/29/2021