Illinois and Iowa Ecological Services Field Office Conserving the nature of America

 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
in the Midwest

The Midwest Region includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin. Find a location near you.

The Midwest Region includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin.
Find a location or office
near you »

 


Ecological Services

We work with public and private entities to conserve and restore Illinois and Iowa's endangered species, migratory birds, wetlands, and other important fish and wildlife resources.

biologist releasing a bald eagle after attaching a radio.

Bald Eagle Telemetry Study

By Sara Schmuecker


Over the past three years, the Illinois-Iowa Field Office has worked with West Virginia University and USGS on a project that uses modern telemetry (GPS-GSM) to provide information about eagles in the Midwest and their migratory routes. Data collected includes flight and behavioral information collected at frequencies of up to one data point per second! The partners have trapped and put transmitters on more than 30 eagles. This past spring, Rock Island Field Office put transmitters on eaglets for the first time, including two hatched from a nest located inside an active wind farm.

 

The team has an end goal of 50 eagles with transmitters, which will each provide about five to six years of data. we funded this study initially with field office funds and a small grant from the American Eagle Foundation. Project funding has expanded to over $250,000 which was made possible by a variety of unique funding partners: American Eagle Foundation, Alcoa, ITC Transmission, MidAmerican Energy, Avian Power Line Interaction Committee, American Wind and Wildlife Institute, FWS, WVU foundation, and the Peregrine Fund.

 

This research will provide information previously not known to science due to limitations of older telemetry systems and will serve as a guiding document to wind energy developers. Information gathered from this research will inform decisions regarding the issuance of permits for limited take and disturbance to eagles, and contribute information to help us avoid and minimize impacts to eagles throughout the Midwest.

 

Map showing flight paths of 11 bald eagles Adobe PDF Icon

 


 

 

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