Volunteers needed for midwinter bald eagle survey

— December 15, 2014

(Press release) — As part of a national survey effort, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Buffalo and Casper Field Offices are seeking volunteers to assist with the 2015 Midwinter Bald Eagle Survey on Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015.

Participants are asked to count eagles along standard routes in order to identify population trends. The standard routes are distributed across the field offices with a focus on the Powder River Basin and will follow public roads.

Volunteers are encouraged to pre-register for survey routes. To pre-register, contact Charlotte Darling with the Buffalo Field Office (Johnson, Sheridan, Campbell counties) at (307) 684-1045 or George Soehn with the Casper Field Office (Natrona, Converse counties) at (307) 261-7531 by Friday, Jan. 2. 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 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the following locations:

Sheridan, Jan. 6, 2015, Inner Circle, Sheridan County Library, 335 W Alger

Buffalo, Jan. 7, 2015, BLM Buffalo Field Office, 1425 Fort Street

Gillette, Jan. 8, 2015, Pioneer I Room, Campbell County Library, 2101 4-J Road

Casper, Jan. 8, 2015, BLM Casper Field Office, 2987 Prospector Drive

During last year’s survey, 62 volunteers counted 354 eagles throughout the Powder River Basin, including 239 bald eagles. A total of 2,396 eagles have been counted since surveys of the Basin began in 2006.

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. Over the years the national survey has been coordinated by BLM, U.S. Geological Survey, and is currently coordinated by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Wildlife professionals from BLM, U.S. Forest Service and National Park Service coordinate local efforts across Wyoming. The Cody BLM has been coordinating surveys in the Bighorn Basin since the late 1980’s. Currently, survey results from 1979-2012 are being used to determine bald eagle and golden eagle population trends.

To volunteer, or for additional information, contact Charlotte Darling at (307) 684-1045 or George Soehn at (307) 261-7531. For more information on the national program visit the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Bird Initiative website.

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