Number of breeding bald eagles in Arizona grows
Sep 27, 2010
With the bald eagle breeding season in Arizona coming to a close, the state’s population continues to flourish. For the 2010 breeding season, three new active breeding areas were identified bringing the total number of occupied breeding areas in the state to 52. The total number of breeding adult bald eagles also grew to 104, which is the highest on record.
This year, under the careful watch of the Arizona Game and Fish Department and a coalition of 22 other partners that make up the Southwestern Bald Eagle Management Committee, 44 eaglets also reached the critical point of taking their first flight, an important milestone for a young bird’s chances of survival.
Bald eagle numbers over the past 30 years have grown more than 600 percent in the state.
“Identifying three new breeding areas in the state is a positive sign that our population of bald eagles continues to grow and do well,” said Kenneth Jacobson, Arizona Game and Fish Department bald eagle management coordinator.
The breeding season for bald eagles in Arizona typically runs from December through June, although a few bald eagle pairs at higher elevations nest later than those in the rest of the state.
The bald eagle program is supported by the Heritage Fund, a voter-passed initiative that provides funding for wildlife conservation through Arizona Lottery revenue.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department, a leading partner in recovery efforts for the species, attributes the success to cooperative on-the-ground management, including monitoring and survey flights; recreational area closures during the breeding season; banding and visual identification; contaminants analysis and a nestwatch program to protect breeding activities.
Management of the bald eagle falls under the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s program to recover species that are threatened, declining or that have been extirpated from the state.
Through its partnerships with other public agencies, non-profit organizations, tribes and the science community, the department’s wildlife recovery program aims to prevent species from becoming endangered and conserve them in a more cost-effective manner. State-level involvement provides closer oversight of wildlife species on a day-to-day basis. Specific emphasis is placed on identifying and managing the wildlife and habitat of greatest conservation need, or those species that are no longer abundant and facing increasing threats from habitat degradation, disease, introduction of non-native species and climate change.
Adaptive management of these species helps ensure their continued presence in Arizona and protects the delicate balance of the ecosystem for future generations.
For more information on bald eagles in Arizona, visit http://www.azgfd.gov or http://www.swbemc.org.