The population of golden eagles in Utah and across western US states is in decline, and a team of drone-flying humans is endeavoring to learn why that is. The effort particularly seeks to comprehend the reasons behind rising death rates among younger birds of the species.
Partners fly drones to locate remote golden eagle nests
Though thankfully not yet endangered, the protected raptors have experienced drops in their numbers over the past decade. Those have been driven by threats from ever-advancing human presence and activity, as well as disease surges that periodically decimate principal prey like jackrabbits. To gain greater insight into the phenomenon, a public-private partnership is using drones to identify golden eagle nests tucked into sheer cliff faces, then monitor hatchlings for clues behind their diminishing life expectancy.
The collaboration matches conservation group Hawkwatch International with federal, state, and military actors in a…