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Researchers get award for work with golden eagles

  • Cradling a golden eagle
    Cradling a golden eagle  Libby Mojica, raptor specialist with the Center for Conservation Biology, holds a golden eagle in Highland County that has been fitted with a satellite transmitter for tracking.  Photo by Fletcher Smith
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The Eastern Golden Eagle Working Group has received the Wings Across the Americas Award issued by the U.S. Forest Service. This annual award recognizes individuals and groups that provide outstanding contributions to international conservation of important bird species. The award will be presented during an awards ceremony to be held in Arlington, VA on March 27.

Golden eagles are declining throughout North America and the population east of the Mississippi River is very poorly known and vulnerable. Birds from this population breed primarily in the eastern provinces of Canada, but a significant portion of the population winters within the southern Appalachians and migrates along this mountain range. Birds within this region were virtually unknown in the early 1900s and only in recent decades have been “discovered” by the bird-watching community. Concern for this relatively small population in the face of industrial development has been mounting in recent years. Very little is currently known about the ecology and status of this population.

The Eastern Golden Eagle Working Group is a small assemblage of scientists and managers from across the range of the population that has come together to develop conservation strategies and to raise awareness of this little-known population. The group is co-led by Todd Katzner of West Virginia University and Charles Maisonneuve of Ministère des Ressources Naturelles, Direction de l'expertise Faune-Forêts-Territoire du Bas-Saint-Laurent. 

Libby Mojica and Bryan Watts from the Center for Conservation Biology are members of the working group.