Volunteers needed for 2014 Bald Eagle Count

Story by the Tahoe Institute for Natural Sciences

As part of a national survey effort monitoring the recovery of Bald Eagle populations, the Tahoe Institute for Natural Science (TINS) is seeking volunteers to assist with the 36th annual Midwinter Bald Eagle Count on Friday, January 10, 2014. Volunteers will be responsible for counting all bald eagles at one of 26 sites distributed around the Lake Tahoe shoreline during a three-hour period on the morning of the count.

The survey’s purpose is to monitor the health of wintering Bald Eagle populations on a national and regional scale—since 1979, hundreds of citizen scientists count eagles along standard routes in order to identify population trends in the first weeks of January. The Bald Eagle was declared endangered in 1967, but 40 years later populations had recovered enough to be removed from the Endangered Species List. It is one of only a handful of species to fight its way back from the brink of extinction. Wildlife researchers rely on citizen science volunteers to help cover Bald Eagle territories year after year, creating a long-term database that is an important part of wildlife research, recovery, and management efforts.

While we cannot guarantee Bald Eagle sightings during the count, we do expect a high count this year. During last month’s Christmas Bird Count, 15 individual Bald Eagles were counted in South Lake Tahoe alone, matching our total for the 2013 midwinter count for the entire Lake Tahoe basin.

The count will take place on Friday, January 10, from 9 am-12 noon. To RSVP or for additional information, please contact Robin Jones at robin@tinsweb.org or 775.298.0066. For more information on Tahoe’s Mid-Winter Bald Eagle Survey, visit the TINS website at http://tinsweb.org/index.php/mid-winter-bald-eagle-count.

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