Volunteers Needed for Midwinter Eagle Survey
An eagle count in the Powder River Basin takes place in January. The count looks for golden and bald eagles, many of whom are only winter residents who've flown in from colder climates to the north.
Charlotte Darling, is a range land specialist with the Bureau of Land management . She says last year they counted 308 eagles throughout the basin.
"We did have more golden eagles in 2012 and the bald eagles were down a little bit, which is good because people are starting to pay a little more attention to golden eagles. So those numbers are becoming just as important as the bald eagles and we have a lot of golden eagles that live in Wyoming year round."
The national survey was established in 1979 by the National Wildlife Federation to develop a winter population index of bald eagles in the lower 48 states and to identify previously unrecognized winter habitats.
The eagle count in the Powder River Basin has been held since 2006.
Participants are asked to count eagles along standard routes in order to identify population trends. The standard routes are distributed across the Powder River Basin and will follow public roads such as Lower Powder River Road.
Currently, survey results from 1979-2012 are being used to determine bald eagle and golden eagle population trends.
In a change from previous years, volunteers are encouraged to pre-register for survey routes. To pre-register, contact Charlotte Darling at (307) 684-1045 by Friday, Jan. 4. Pre-registration is especially encouraged for routes in Sheridan and Johnson counties. Any routes that are not assigned during pre-registration will be available at the public meetings listed below.
Public meetings will be held to discuss survey methodology, eagle identification and to distribute survey materials.
Meetings will be held from 7 to 8 p.m. in the following locations:
Sheridan Jan. 8, 2013 Inner Circle, Sheridan County Library, 335 W Alger
Buffalo Jan. 9, 2013 BLM Buffalo Field Office, 1425 Fort Street
Gillette Jan. 10, 2013 Pioneer I Room, Campbell County Library, 2101 4-J Road
For more information on the national program visit the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers http://corpslakes.usace.army.mil/employees/bird/midwinter.cfm.