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Arizona Bald Eagle Nestwatch Program

Arizona Bald Eagle Nestwatch Program

Photo by Kyle McCarty and Greg Beatty

 

Arizona Bald Eagle Nestwatch Program

Many land and wildlife agencies recognize the conflicts between increasing metropolitan populations, recreation, and breeding bald eagles. In Arizona, the most productive breeding areas are located near urban and high recreation areas, thus increasing the need for protective management. In 1978, these concerns led to the creation of the Arizona Bald Eagle Nestwatch Program (ABENWP). Beginning as a weekend volunteer effort by the U.S. Forest Service and Maricopa Audubon Society, the ABENWP has expanded into contracting 20 biologists annually to monitor breeding activities daily (22 days each month). The goals of the program are public education, data collection, and conservation of the species.

 

Beginning in February, nestwatchers are stationed at 10 to 15 breeding areas with the highest recreation pressures. They interact with members of the public, educate them on breeding bald eagles, distribute brochures, and direct them away from the breeding area.  Nestwatchers collect data on breeding behavior, human activities, and habitat use to help agencies make better management decisions. Determining when bald eagles are in a life threatening situation is possibly the most tangible benefit of this monitoring. This recognition enables biologists to intervene and eliminate/reduce the threat, thereby increasing productivity. From 1983 to 2005, the ABENWP has helped rescue and return to the wild 49 nestlings and eggs, representing 9.4 percent of all young fledged in Arizona.

 

More information on the Arizona Bald Eagle Nestwatch Program can be found on the Southwetern Bald Eagle Management Committee's webpage. If you are interested in becoming an Arizona Bald Eagle Nestwatch contractor, visit the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Employment page.

 
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External Resources [More]
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- Airbourne Hunting Act
- Arizona Falconers Association
- Arizona Revised Statutes
- Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act
- Endangered Species Act
- Lacey Act
- Liberty Wildlife Rehabilitation
- Migratory Bird Treaty Act
- North American Bird Banding Lab
- North American Falconers Association
- The Peregrine Fund
- Raptor Research Foundation
- Southwestern Bald Eagle Management Committee
- Wild At Heart
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