The Ridgway's Hawk is one of the most endangered species in the world  
Center Featured Program:

Ecological Excursions
Center Featured Program:

Rural Clinic of

Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park and Reserve

Ecological Excursions

Protecting the Ridgway’s Hawk

The Last Survivors Project

Iguana Conservation Project


The Ridgway’s Hawk (Buteo ridgwayi) is found only on the island of Hispaniola and is one of the rarest animals in the world. With an estimated total population of just 300 individuals remaining in the wild, the Ridgway’s Hawk is highly threatened with extinction due to habitat loss and indiscriminate hunting.

The PUNTACANA Ecological Foundation has teamed with The Peregrine Fund in an attempt to increase the population of these hawks through assisted dispersal coupled with a comprehensive environmental education program in the Punta Cana region. Since 2009, the Ridgway’s Hawk project in Punta Cana has been working to reintroduce Ridgway's Hawks into the Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park and Reserve. The end goal is to create a self-sustaining, wild population of the Ridgway’s Hawk in the Punta Cana region, with hopes of seeing first breeding pairs within five years..

Each reintroduction begins with biologists from The Peregrine Fund spending months monitoring Ridgway’s Hawk nests in Los Haitises National Park. Nestling hawks are taken from select nests and transported to Punta Cana to where they are placed in a hacking box in the Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park and Reserve. All hawks are fitted with a radio transmitter and a numbered metal band so they can be monitored using radio telemetry and identified by sight through a spotting scope or binoculars. For several months, biologists and volunteers monitor the hawks and bring them food daily. Soon the hawks begin taking test flights and familiarizing themselves with their new surroundings. Eventually, they will begin to hunt on their own and will leave the hacking area to look for new territories nearby. The release process takes about three months from the time the birds are placed in the hackbox to when they become independent and can sustain themselves in the wild.

More information can be found at

get involved

PUNTACANA Ecological Foundation, Dominican Republic
Tel: (809) 959-9221 - Fax (809) 959-8483