A Population Study of Golden Eagles in the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area: Population Trend Analysis, 1994-1997

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The wind industry has annually reported 28-43 turbine blade strike casualties of golden eagles in the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area, and many more carcasses have doubtless gone unnoticed. Because this species is especially sensitive to adult survival rate changes, we focused upon estimating the demographic trend of the population. In aerial surveys, we monitored survival within a sample of 179 radio-tagged eagles over a four-year period. We also obtained data on territory occupancy and reproduction of about 65 eagle pairs residing in the area. Of 61 recorded deaths of radio-tagged eagles during the four-year investigation, 23 (38%) were caused ... continued below

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Predatory Bird Research Group, Long Marine Laboratory July 20, 1999.

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The wind industry has annually reported 28-43 turbine blade strike casualties of golden eagles in the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area, and many more carcasses have doubtless gone unnoticed. Because this species is especially sensitive to adult survival rate changes, we focused upon estimating the demographic trend of the population. In aerial surveys, we monitored survival within a sample of 179 radio-tagged eagles over a four-year period. We also obtained data on territory occupancy and reproduction of about 65 eagle pairs residing in the area. Of 61 recorded deaths of radio-tagged eagles during the four-year investigation, 23 (38%) were caused by wind turbine blade strikes. Additional fatalities were unrecorded because blade strikes sometimes destroy radio transmitters. Annual survival was estimated at 0.7867 (SE=0.0263) for non-territorial eagles and 0.8964 (SE=0.0371) for territorial ones. Annual reproduction was 0.64 (SE=0.08) young per territorial pair (0.25 per female). These parameters were used to estimate population growth rates under different modeling frameworks. At present, there are indications that a reserve of non-breeding adults still exists, i.e., there is an annual territorial reoccupancy rate of 100% and a low incidence (3%) of subadults as members of breeding pairs.

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INIS; OSTI as DE00012148

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  • Other Information: Supercedes report DE00012148; PBD: 20 Jul 1999

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  • Report No.: NREL/SR-500-26092
  • Grant Number: AC36-99GO10337
  • DOI: 10.2172/12148 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 12148
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc627631

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  • July 20, 1999

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  • June 16, 2015, 7:43 a.m.

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  • March 31, 2016, 3:27 p.m.

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Predatory Bird Research Group, Long Marine Laboratory. A Population Study of Golden Eagles in the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area: Population Trend Analysis, 1994-1997, report, July 20, 1999; Golden, Colorado. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627631/: accessed August 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.