The bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) is considered a species of special concern by the Arizona Game and Fish Department. Bald eagles are also afforded special federal protection by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act which prohibits harming this species. Large numbers of these raptors have been documented wintering in northern Arizona, including open fields in and around The National Guard's Camp Navajo. The extent to which bald eagles use Camp Navajo is of primary concern because the Army National Guard is considering the installation of wind turbine generators on Camp Navajo. Wind turbine generators have been implicated in causing the death of numerous raptor species including red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis), American kestrels (Falco sparvarius), and golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos). In addition, forest restoration activities on Camp Navajo may affect Bald Eagle winter roost areas.
The eagles are common winter residents at Camp Navajo, which is located approximately 10 miles west of Flagstaff, AZ near Bellemont, AZ.
Eagles are captured using rocket nets. Captured bald eagles are fitted with Fish and Wildlife Service and color alpha-numeric leg bands. Satellite transmitters are attached after biological samples and measurements have been collected. This allows us to track individuals and identify roosting and foraging habitats. We will also be able to identify commonly used perches in the proposed turbine construction area. Eagles are captured between December and March. Since the start of this study we have captured 26 eagles and transmittered 21 from Camp Navajo. The transmitters usually last up to three years. We currently have 9 eagles with active transmitters.
The primary purpose of this study is to document the number of bald eagles using Camp Navajo during the winter months. This knowledge will identify the potential impact wind turbine generators may have on the wintering population of bald eagles in northern Arizona. This study may also suggest wind turbine or habitat modifications that would result in a lower incidence of eagle and other raptor mortalities. We will also identify roost areas that may need special consideration when Camp Navajo implements their proposed forest treatments. In addition, we will identify important wintering areas in northern Arizona, important migration corridors, important stopover points during seasonal migrations and summer breeding territories.
The map below shows all bald eagle locations collected using satellite transmitters between January 2005 and February 2007. They were monitored throughout their migration and summer grounds in Canada.
For more information contact:
Michael Ingraldi, Ph.D.,
Arizona Game and Fish Department,
5000 W. Carefree Highway Phoenix, AZ 85086-5000 .
Phone: (928) 523-5625 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org