Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Arizona
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Arizona Project

Analysis of bald eagle habitat selection and movement patterns

July 2022 - June 2024


Participating Agencies

  • Arizona Game and Fish Department

Power lines pose a threat to Bald Eagles through electrocution and these mortalities are important to consider when determining allowable take. Mortality risk can be mitigating by retrofitting utility infrastructure yet information is needed to determine where such mitigation actions should be implemented. Mitigating Bald Eagle mortality risk from electrocution requires an understanding of where Bald Eagles are likely to occur on the landscape. High-resolution GPS telemetry is often used to monitor the movements of Bald Eagles and this information can be used to create spatially explicit predictions of Bald Eagle habitat selection which can then be overlaid with spatial information on utility infrastructure to identify potential hotspots of high mortality risk. This project is being conducted in collaboration with Arizona Game and Fish Department and the Arizona Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. We will use GPS telemetry data from subadult Bald Eagles in Arizona to create spatially explicit predictions of Bald Eagle habitat selection in Maricopa County by estimating multi-scale integrated step-selection functions. Our models will include a variety of landscape data including vegetation cover, urbanization and roads, water bodies, and topographic features. The resulting map can be used by project partners to identify areas in potential need of mitigation to minimize electrocution risks.

Presentations Presentation Date
Cappello, C., K. Jacobson, J. Driscoll, K. McCarty, and J.M. Bauder. 2024. Northward migrations by nonbreeding bald eagles hatched in Arizona. 2024 Annual Conference of the Wildlife Society, Baltimore, Maryland. October 2024