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Golden Eagle Ecoregional Conservation Strategies

 

 

A golden eagle flying is superimposed over a composite image of a map of the United States (on the left) and an aerial view of agriculture land. The image reads Ecoregional Conservation Strategies

 

Ecoregional Conservation Strategies for Golden Eagles in the Western U.S.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) developed regional conservation strategies to support management of golden eagles in the western United States. To account for geographic variation in golden eagle distribution, habitat associations, prey communities and population limiting factors, the Service developed conservation strategies at the scale of Level III Ecoregions established by the Commission for Environmental Cooperation. This allows the strategies to be scalable to Bird Conservation Regions (Level II Ecoregions), Flyways, and other administrative units. The Service collaborated with numerous stakeholders including State and Federal agencies, research institutions, industry, Tribes, and NGOs in the development of our conservation strategies, which are intended to complement existing management plans for golden eagles.

For each ecoregion, the Service compiled spatial data and modeling results to support golden eagle management, including:

  • Results of ecoregion-specific predictive modeling of habitats used for breeding, wintering, and movement;
  • Results of ecoregion-specific analyses and modeling of threats, such as electrocution and exposure to contaminants; and
  • Ecoregion-specific risk analyses and decision support tools for energy development, mitigation, and eagle conservation planning.
A map of the western United States shows geographic areas with boundaries of modeling regions shown in colored fill and projection regions with crosshatch. Most of Montana, northeast Wyoming, western North and South Dakota shown in solid brown, denoting region 8, called the Northwestern Plains. Central and western Wyoming and a northern section of Colorado shown in solid baby blue, denoting region 12, known as the Wyoming Basin. Eastern Colorado, southeast Wyoming, the Oklahoma Panhandle, western Texas, and eastern New Mexico shown in solid peach, denoting region 10, known as Southwestern Plains. South New Mexico and portions of northern Mexico shown in solid beige, denoting region 3, known as the Chihuahuan Desert. Red crosshatch is in the southeasternmost corner of Arizona, denoting projected region 14, known as the Madrean Archipelago. Southern Arizona, southeast California, and southeast Nevada shown in solid red, denoting region 9, known as Southwestern Deserts. Central California shown in solid pink, denoting region 1, the California Foothills, with an inner pink crosshatch section denoting projected region 13, the California Central Valley. The Four Corners region connecting Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, and Nevada shown in solid blue, denoting region 11, the Southwestern Plateaus. Most of Nevada and western Utah shown in solid grey, denoting region 2, the Central Basin and Range. Southern Idaho, Oregon, and the northernmost tips of California and Nevada shown in solid light blue, denoting region 7, the Northern Great Basin. Eastern Washington state and western Idaho shown in navy blue, denoting region 4, the Columbia Plateau. The southwestern corner of Montana and the northeastern edge of the bottom part of Idaho are shown in light green, denoting region 6, the Intermontane Basins and Valleys. A Small portion of the northern Colorado-Utah border, as well as a small section in central-northern Colorado is shown in blue crosshatch, denoting region 15, the projected region Uinta Basin and North Park. Finally, region 5, the Forested Montane, is shown in dark green and is scattered all over the states throughout and in between the other regions.
Geographic extent of study area with boundaries of modeling regions shown in colored fill and projection regions with crosshatch.View Full Screen.

In addition to the materials described above, the Service and collaborators are developing detailed conservation strategies for three high-priority ecoregions with extensive golden eagle data and renewable energy development (Central Basin and Range, Northwestern Plains, and Wyoming and Uinta Basins).

These expanded conservation strategies consist of two parts:

  • a technical assessment of current information pertaining to golden eagles,
  • a regional conservation strategy for the species.

The technical assessment provides a review and synthesis of published information and local research results on golden eagle populations, habitat associations, diet, prey communities, and population limiting factors. The conservation strategy section is based on information and modeling results compiled in the assessment, and provides tools and management approaches for direct application in eagle conservation.

For more information about each of the fifteen Ecoregions, click each region's name below. (Open / close all)

California Foothills & California Central Valley »

A map shows modeled golden eagle relative nest site density in the California Foothills & California Central Valley. The map shows California and the western half of Nevada. The area shown that represents the relative nest site density is a large green and yellow blob along the coast of California.The areas of highest density are shown in dark blue and green hues, and the lowest density in bright yellow and white tones. The area showing the highest density appears to be an oval around the coast of California, up to Redding, back south in the valleys towards Fresno, and circling back to the coast near the Mexico border. The middle of the oval is bright yellow, incidating low density. There is one small blob of green and dark blue about a third of the way between Sacramento and Redding.
Map of modeled golden eagle relative nest site density in the California Foothills & California Central Valley
View Full Screen.

Golden Eagle species distribution models

  • Breeding Habitat
  • Winter Habitat (in development)
  • Movement and Migration (in development

Risk Analyses

  • Electrocution on overhead distribution power poles
  • Lead exposure from gut piles and un-retrieved big game carcasses
  • Oil and gas development potential
  • Wildfire
  • Wind development potential

Back to Ecoregion List >


Central Basin and Range »

A map shows modeled golden eagle relative nest site density in the Central Basin and Range. The map shows all of Nevada, with northwestern Arizona, east-centra California, western Utah, southern Idaho, and southeastern Oregon also visible. Throughout eastern California to western Utah shows a swath of nest density. The lines that form bright yellow areas (low nest density) and green/blue areas (high density) appear to be in line with valleys and ridges, respectively. The highest density areas appear in Utah and northwest Nevada.
Map of modeled golden eagle relative nest site density in the Central Basin and Range
View Full Screen.

Central Basin and Range Golden Eagle Conservation Strategy

Golden Eagle species distribution models

  • Breeding Habitat
  • Winter Habitat (in development)
  • Movement and Migration (in development

Risk Analyses

  • Electrocution on overhead distribution power poles
  • Lead exposure from gut piles and un-retrieved big game carcasses
  • Oil and gas development potential
  • Wildfire
  • Wind development potential

Back to Ecoregion List >


Chihuahuan Desert »

A map shows modeled golden eagle relative nest site density in the Chihuahuan Desert. The map shows most of New Mexico and northern Mexico, with bits of Texas and Arizona visible. The area shows relatively low nest density, represented by a large swath of yellow along the Chihuahuan desert
Map of modeled golden eagle relative nest site density in the Chihuahuan Desert
View Full Screen.

Golden Eagle species distribution models

  • Breeding Habitat
  • Winter Habitat (in development)
  • Movement and Migration (in development

Risk Analyses

  • Electrocution on overhead distribution power poles
  • Lead exposure from gut piles and un-retrieved big game carcasses
  • Oil and gas development potential
  • Wildfire
  • Wind development potential

Back to Ecoregion List >


Columbia Plateau »

A map shows modeled golden eagle relative nest site density in the Columbia Plateau. The map shows Washington state, western Idaho and northern Oregon. Most of the center of the map is covered in yellow, representing relatively low nest density. However the edges of the yellow blob show dark blue and green, indicating higher nest density in those areas. The edges of the area, which have higher nest density, cut through the center of Washington and around to the Idaho Oregon border where it appears to be an area of elevated terrain.
Map of modeled golden eagle relative nest site density in the Columbia Plateau
View Full Screen.

Golden Eagle species distribution models

  • Breeding Habitat
  • Winter Habitat (in development)
  • Movement and Migration (in development

Risk Analyses

  • Electrocution on overhead distribution power poles
  • Lead exposure from gut piles and un-retrieved big game carcasses
  • Oil and gas development potential
  • Wildfire
  • Wind development potential

Back to Ecoregion List >


Forested Montane »

A map shows modeled golden eagle relative nest site density in the Forested Montane. The map shows the western half of the Continental United States, from the western half of the Dakotas all the way to the west coast. Areas of green and blue, with yellows interspersed, show relative nest density across the forested montane of the country - blue indicates the highest density and yellow the lowest, with green in the middle. Areas of note include western Colorado into middle-central Utah, where a very dark blue area is visible. Another area of equal density is in central-middle Idaho near Boise. Other areas of green and yellow stretch along the Pacfic Northwest coast, eastern California, an area extending from central-middle Arizona to southwest New Mexico with another area in south-central New Mexico, the Canadian-Montana-Washington border, northwest Wyoming, the Black Hills of South Dakota, and most of western Colorado.
Map of modeled golden eagle relative nest site density in the Forested Montane
View Full Screen.

Golden Eagle species distribution models

  • Breeding Habitat
  • Winter Habitat (in development)
  • Movement and Migration (in development

Risk Analyses

  • Electrocution on overhead distribution power poles
  • Lead exposure from gut piles and un-retrieved big game carcasses
  • Oil and gas development potential
  • Wildfire
  • Wind development potential

Back to Ecoregion List >


Intermontane Basins and Valleys »

A map shows modeled golden eagle relative nest site density in the Intermontane Basins and Valleys. The map shows the intersection of Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. The area of relative nest density is shown in blues (indicating high relative density) and yellows (low density) with greens representing density between the two extremes. Most of the area shown is green, with highlights of blue and yellow interspersed. The area repsented in colors extends from near Bozeman Montana, northwest towards and past Missoula, and down towards southern Idaho.
Map of modeled golden eagle relative nest site density in the Intermontane Basins and Valleys
View Full Screen.

Golden Eagle species distribution models

  • Breeding Habitat
  • Winter Habitat (in development)
  • Movement and Migration (in development

Risk Analyses

  • Electrocution on overhead distribution power poles
  • Lead exposure from gut piles and un-retrieved big game carcasses
  • Oil and gas development potential
  • Wildfire
  • Wind development potential

Back to Ecoregion List >


Northern Great Basin »

A map shows modeled golden eagle relative nest site density in the Northern Great Basin. The map shows most of the western United States, starting from western Wyoming to the coast. The area of relative nest density is shown in blues (indicating high relative density) and yellows (low density) with greens representing density between the two extremes. The area represented in color extends from eastern Idaho (with a tiny blip bleeding into western Wyoming), up into northern central Oregon, down through the northeastern corner of California, down to Reno, and back up towards the northwestern corner of Utah. West of Boise and into central Oregon shows a high density of blue, as does parts in Northern Nevada near Reno towards Salt Lake City.
Map of modeled golden eagle relative nest site density in the Northern Great Basin
View Full Screen.

Golden Eagle species distribution models

  • Breeding Habitat
  • Winter Habitat (in development)
  • Movement and Migration (in development

Risk Analyses

  • Electrocution on overhead distribution power poles
  • Lead exposure from gut piles and un-retrieved big game carcasses
  • Oil and gas development potential
  • Wildfire
  • Wind development potential

Back to Ecoregion List >


Northwestern Plains »

A map shows modeled golden eagle relative nest site density in the Northwestern Plains. The map shows North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Montana. The area of relative nest density is shown in blues (indicating high relative density) and yellows (low density) with greens representing density between the two extremes. The area shown in color extends from the Canadian border in the middle of Alberta, down southeast towards Bozeman, through the northeastern corner of Wyoming, and up through most of the western half of both Dakotas. This map shows an extremely large, dense area of blue in the northeastern corner of Wyoming. Most of Montana is also shown in blue tones, as well as the Badlands area of western North Dakota, The rest of North Dakota, and central South Dakota to Nebraska is shown in yellow.
Map of modeled golden eagle relative nest site density in the Northwestern Plains
View Full Screen.

Northwestern Plains Golden Eagle Conservation Strategy

Golden Eagle species distribution models

  • Breeding Habitat
  • Winter Habitat (in development)
  • Movement and Migration (in development

Risk Analyses

  • Electrocution on overhead distribution power poles
  • Lead exposure from gut piles and un-retrieved big game carcasses
  • Oil and gas development potential
  • Wildfire
  • Wind development potential

Back to Ecoregion List >


Southwestern Deserts & Madrean Archipelago »

A map shows modeled golden eagle relative nest site density in the Southwestern Deserts & Madrean Archipelago. The map shows Arizona, Southern Utah and Nevada, and southern California. The area represented in color extends from the southwesternmost tip of utah, through the southeastern point of Nevada, southern California, and the entire southern third of Arizona. The area of relative nest density is shown in blues (indicating high relative density) and yellows (low density) with greens representing density between the two extremes. Most of the area shown in color is yellow, with very small bits and lines of blue interpsersed throughout areas of elevated terrain.
Map of modeled golden eagle relative nest site density in the Southwestern Deserts & Madrean Archipelago
View Full Screen.

Golden Eagle species distribution models

  • Breeding Habitat
  • Winter Habitat (in development)
  • Movement and Migration (in development

Risk Analyses

  • Electrocution on overhead distribution power poles
  • Lead exposure from gut piles and un-retrieved big game carcasses
  • Oil and gas development potential
  • Wildfire
  • Wind development potential

Back to Ecoregion List >


Southwestern Plains »

A map shows modeled golden eagle relative nest site density in the Southwestern Plains. The map shows Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. The area of relative nest density is shown in blues (indicating high relative density) and yellows (low density) with greens representing density between the two extremes. The area shown in color strikes down the middle of the map, straddling the eastern half of the states in the west, and the western half of the states to the east. The farthest east extends halfway through southern Kansas, the farthest west is near Albuquerque, the farthest south extends past the point where the corner of New Mexico meets Texas, and the farthest north is in southern South Dakota. The area of highest density is quite clearly in South Dakoka, southeast Wyoming and western Nebraska. The rest of the area is mostly yellow, with sections of blue visible in central New Mexico.
Map of modeled golden eagle relative nest site density in the Southwestern Plains
View Full Screen.

Golden Eagle species distribution models

  • Breeding Habitat
  • Winter Habitat (in development)
  • Movement and Migration (in development

Risk Analyses

  • Electrocution on overhead distribution power poles
  • Lead exposure from gut piles and un-retrieved big game carcasses
  • Oil and gas development potential
  • Wildfire
  • Wind development potential

Back to Ecoregion List >


Southwestern Plateaus »

A map shows modeled golden eagle relative nest site density in the Southwestern Plateaus. The map shows the Four Corners region, where Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico meet. The area of relative nest density is shown in blues (indicating high relative density) and yellows (low density) with greens representing density between the two extremes. The area shown in color extends from the intersection of the four states out to a quarter of the way into each state, with the exception of Colorado, which only extends slightly into the state with another blob reaching from north-central New Mexico into south-central Colorado. Most of the area shown in color is yellow with green and blue peppered throughout the region, mostly in the mountains of southeast Utah and southwest Colorado.
Map of modeled golden eagle relative nest site density in the Southwestern Plateaus
View Full Screen.

Golden Eagle species distribution models

  • Breeding Habitat
  • Winter Habitat (in development)
  • Movement and Migration (in development

Risk Analyses

  • Electrocution on overhead distribution power poles
  • Lead exposure from gut piles and un-retrieved big game carcasses
  • Oil and gas development potential
  • Wildfire
  • Wind development potential

Back to Ecoregion List >


Wyoming Basin & Uinta Basin and North Park »

A map shows modeled golden eagle relative nest site density in the Wyoming Basin & Uinta Basin and North Park. The map shows the northern half of Colorado, the northeast half of Utah, nearly all of Wyoming, the eastern half of Idaho, and a strip of southern Montana. The area shown that represents the relative nest site density is a large green and yellow blob in the center of the map, extending from the northwestern corner of Colorado, through the western half of Wyoming, a tiny section bleeding over into southern Montana, and a similarly small tiny section covers the southeastern corner of Idaho. The area also covers most of the northeastern corners of Utah. The areas of highest density are shown in dark blue and green hues, and the lowest density in bright yellow and white tones. The area showing the highest density appears to be a strip from northwest Colorado to northeast Utah, and another area of high density can be seen in central Wyoming, extending in a line to Montana. The rest of the covered yellow-green area is shown in hues of yellow and greens, with areas of blue bleeding throughout the entire region. The map shows that most of the area in the blob has some level of golden eagle nest site density, with pockets of higher density dispersed throughout the basin.
Map of modeled golden eagle relative nest site density in the Wyoming Basin & Uinta Basin and North Park.
View Full Screen.

Wyoming and Uinta Basins Golden Eagle Conservation Strategy

Golden Eagle species distribution models:

  • Breeding Habitat
  • Winter Habitat (in development)
  • Movement and Migration (in development)

Risk Analyses

  • Risk Analysis (Geospatial Data)
  • Electrocution on overhead distribution power poles
  • Lead exposure from gut piles and un-retrieved big game carcasses
  • Oil and gas development potential
  • Wildfire
  • Wind development potential

Back to Ecoregion List >


 

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with Others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American People.
Last modified: October 18, 2019
All Images Credit to and Courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Unless Specified Otherwise.
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