Golden Eagle Population Status
Several studies have recently indicated decreasing population estimates for migrant and wintering Golden Eagles in the western US. There is also concern over an increase in future threats, specifically the expansion of wind energy development in the region. To create an effective management strategy, we must understand the current migration routes, important stopover areas, winter range movements, and potential hazards within both summer and winter ranges. Movements and important use areas of the non-breeding portion of the population (i.e., sub-adults and floaters) are also critical to the perseverance of this long-lived species through maintained recruitment into the breeding population. Our goal for this collaborative project with the BLM is to provide the needed information so an effective management strategy can be developed for Golden Eagles in the western US. This multi-year project is designed to help determine the seasonal abundance and density of Golden Eagles across eastern Montana and to help determine important wintering areas for eagles. We are investigating sub-adult eagle survival rates, home ranges, habitat use using satellite telemetry, and will use the data to help create conservation plans for Golden Eagles.