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

Wilson, T.L., E.A. Weiss, T. Shepherd, L.M. Phillips, and B. Mangipane. 2017. Monitoring bald eagles in Southwest Alaska Network parks: Standard operating procedures version 1.0. Natural Resource Report NPS/SWAN/NRR—2017/1384. National Park Service, Fort Collins, Colorado.


This document contains the Standard Operating Procedures, version 1.0, for the Southwest Alaska Network (SWAN) protocol for monitoring bald eagles in Southwest Alaska Network parks. The procedures outline the methods for collecting, managing and reporting monitoring data for bald eagles, as described in the SWAN Monitoring Plan (Bennet et al. 2006). The study design, data collection methods, and analytical protocols have been previously published in the Journal of Wildlife Management (Wilson et al. 2014) and in two National Park Service Natural Resource Technical Report (NRTR) series publications (Thompson et al. 2009, Thompson and Phillips 2011). The methods described here also closely follow those outlined in the United States Fish and Wildlife Service’s post-delisting monitoring plan (USFWS 2009).

SOP 1 describes how to prepare for the field season. SOP 2 describes methods for conducting field surveys and recording data. SOP 3 details data management and archiving procedures. SOP 4 contains the reporting schedule for the bald eagle vital sign. SOP 5 describes how to update the standard operating procedures. SOP 6 contains information about important field and aviation safety protocols. The appendices contain examples of important forms, and a description of an optional nest tracking procedure.