Eagle Vehicle Strike

Program at a Glance

Focal Species: Golden Eagle, Bald Eagle
Study Area: Utah; Wyoming; Oregon

About the Program

Habitat change and growing road networks have altered food webs, making prey scarce in many areas. This is especially true each winter when Golden and Bald Eagles scavenge on the carcasses of road-killed deer, jackrabbits, and other animals. But these easy meals are not without a price. HWI’s transmitter studies alerted us that many scavenging eagles are struck by moving cars while feasting. Focusing on “hot spots” with high eagle density and areas where many strikes have been reported, we have studied this threat by measuring how many animals are killed on the road and placing cameras on carcasses to document the presence of eagles and other scavengers. We are also moving carcasses farther away from the road to increase eagle use while decreasing flushing from vehicles: a win-win for eagles!

Program Highlights

Carcasses moved
Photos captured
Eagle-vehicle interactions captured

Future of the Program

After finding great conservation success in relocating carcasses, we are working towards making our Eagle Vehicle Strike program an official mitigation method to counteract the Golden Eagles killed through industry, such as electrocutions and wind turbine collisions. Power pole retrofitting is the only currently accepted mitigation option available to the wind industry, but this approach can be expensive and difficult to implement. We hope that the model we have created through this program will lead to the widespread adoption of carcass relocation as a method to offset human-caused mortality of eagles.

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Program Partners

The Worst Nesting Season in 40 years

Recent nesting seasons have yielded the worst survival rate for nesting Golden Eagles in Utah in the last four decades. Help us paint a better picture for eagles in the years to come.

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