Age- and season-specific variation in local and long-distance movement behavior of golden eagles
European Journal of Wildlife Research
Local and Long-Distance Movement Behavior of Golden Eagles
Investigating golden eagle movement behavior, such as distances traveled daily or year-round movements, is important for understanding this species’ ecology and developing effective conservation strategies. Researchers with the USGS, the Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology, and West Virginia University tracked golden eagles of multiple age classes over 2.5 years near Tehachapi, California to provide insight into the causes and consequences of local and long-distance movements. Size and habitat-related features of monthly home ranges and core areas were calculated for each of the 25 eagles telemetered – 20 local residents and five that engaged in long-distance movements. Pre-adult eagles used larger spaces as they got older. Most eagles used areas dominated by both forest and shrub and grassland habitats. Patterns of long-distance eagle movements were determined by age, providing a context for differentiating among types of movement behaviors and their population-level consequences, which may have implications for conservation of golden eagle populations.
Poessel, S.A., Bloom, P.H., Braham, M.A., Katzner, T.E., 2016, Age- and season-specific variation in local and long-distance movement behavior of golden eagles: European Journal of Wildlife Research, p. online, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10344-016-1010-4.