Something about the dead deer didn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate seem right to biologist Linda Kerley. The carcase, splayed out in the snow of Russia ’ s Lazovskii State Nature Reserve, was picked clean save for obscure and bone. But Kerley saw no signs that a large predator—such as the Amur tigers that she had come to study—had brought the animal down. Based upon the tracks still visible in the snow, it looked as if the deer had been running and abruptly keeled over .
Kerley only discovered what had actually happened after she returned to her camp to check on a distant camera that had been placed in the afforest. In photograph taken a couple of weeks before, she watched as the deer lurched across the snow. On its back, wings splayed, bill and talons slashing, was a golden eagle .
cipher had always documented a golden eagle killing a deer in this region. But Kerley, who, along with Jonathan Slaght of the Wildlife Conservation Society, published a report of the incident in the Journal of Raptor Research, knew what the massive birds—with wingspans up to seven feet—were capable of. She had grown up in easterly Oregon and done her graduate work in Wyoming, places where aureate eagles live. “ That an eagle would take down a deer ? I wasn ’ thymine shocked, ” she says.
Reading: The Deadly and Devious Golden Eagle
Named for the distinctive gold-colored feathers on the nape of its neck, the golden eagle can deploy up to seven distinctive hunting techniques, each one equate to the size and focal ratio of its prey. When attacking slow-flying birds, for c ase, the golden eagle soars up and then quickly descends, literally knocking the birds out of the flip. If it ’ sulfur stalking large animals, such as deer, it flies low to the grind, waiting for the right consequence to strike with a suffer grip of its talons .
The fortunate eagle ’ s awful reputation earned it esteem, and even reverence, throughout history. In greek mythology, it was the company to Zeus, serving as his carrier of messages or omens. Among falconers in medieval Europe, it was the “ royal eagle, ” its function reserved for kings. But in advanced times, the fortunate eagle ’ sulfur art as a hunter was about its unmake. Golden eagles typically prey upon small- and medium-sized animals, such as fathead, rabbits and reptiles. But its episodic attacks on bigger animals—lambs, deer and even juvenile brown bears—led ranchers in the United States to believe that the shuttlecock was depleting their livestock. between 1941 and 1961, some 20,000 aureate eagles were shot from airplanes. In 1962, following studies that countered claims that the eagles were a terror to ranchers ’ livelihoods, the government designated them a federally protected species .
Though aureate eagles are nobelium longer officially persecuted, they distillery face threats, poisoned by the lead changeable they eat from scavenged carcasses, or bludgeoned by the wind-turbine blades they sometimes fly into.
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The most pressing publish, however, is habitat loss. fortunate eagles are creatures of open space—the shrub-steppe, the prairie, the tundra. When these lands are converted to farmland, paved over or differently lost, small animal populations refuse and the eagles have no reason to stay .
“ Golden eagles are top-of-the-food-chain predators, so what happens to them reflects what ’ s happening in the ecosystem, ” says Jim Watson, a biologist with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife who has studied the birds since the 1970s. “ It ’ s authoritative for us to understand them. They epitomize what is actually violent. ”
Read more : Gulls Win Over Canucks 3-2
I am broadly interested in how human activities influence the ability of wildlife to persist in the modified environments that we create.
Specifically, my research investigates how the configuration and composition of landscapes influence the movement and population dynamics of forest birds. Both natural and human-derived fragmenting of habitat can influence where birds settle, how they access the resources they need to survive and reproduce, and these factors in turn affect population demographics. Most recently, I have been studying the ability of individuals to move through and utilize forested areas which have been modified through timber harvest as they seek out resources for the breeding and postfledging phases. As well I am working in collaboration with Parks Canada scientists to examine in the influence of high density moose populations on forest bird communities in Gros Morne National Park. Many of my projects are conducted in collaboration or consultation with representatives of industry and government agencies, seeking to improve the management and sustainability of natural resource extraction.