November 10, 2022 Timing and Flight Behavior of Golden Eagles in Arkansas

Rebecca Peak, US Fish & Wildlife Service

The eastern North American population of Golden Eagles is a genetically distinct population that favors ridges, hillsides, and cliffs in forested habitat during winter. These topographic features are also a focus area for wind development because they provide access to wind speeds that optimize energy production. This puts large soaring birds like Golden Eagles at risk from the turbine’s rotating blades. In 2021, the USFWS, in cooperation with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, National Park Service, USDA Forest Service, and private landowners launched a pilot project to capture and fit GPS transmitters to two Golden Eagles. The purpose is to assist wind energy developers in evaluating environmental risk for projects in these ecoregions. Additionally, these data are part of larger studies to spatially map migration routes and habitat use of eagles between summer and winter sites, analyze levels of lead poisoning, and estimate abundance.

Rebecca Peak grew up in rural Illinois where she started birding at a young age and developed her interest in how human land use practices affect birds and their habitats. Currently, she is a Fish and Wildlife Biologist with USFWS in the Arkansas Ecological Services Field Office where she works with partners to coordinate and facilitate activities pursuant to the Endangered Species Act. Prior to this she worked with USDA Forest Service as a District Wildlife Biologist on the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest where she implemented habitat management activities. She spent most of her career working on Fort Hood Military Installation, first with TNC as an applied scientist, and then with Department of the Army as a natural resources specialist where she implemented a research and monitoring program for the federally endangered Golden-cheeked Warbler.

7PM via Zoom

October 13, 2022 Natural State Tomorrow

Austin Booth, Director of Arkansas Game & Fish Commission

Director Austin Booth will cover the FY 22 (7/1/21 to 6/30/22) Annual Report, the first of its kind for the agency, and then share highlights from “Natural State Tomorrow”, AGFC’s strategic plan that will guide the agency for the next five years. Focal areas for the Strategic Plan include Staff Excellence, Conservation and Enhancement of Statewide Habitat, Commitment to Arkansans, and Outreach. Without many partners, including Audubon and others, the agency will be unable to complete the ambitious goals we have laid out. AGFC looks forward to working with its partners to help improve habitat and conservation in Arkansas.

Register in advance for this meeting:
https://audubon.zoom.us/…/tJwlf…

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

At 35 years of age, Austin Booth is the youngest director chosen to lead the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. This former United States Marine Corps captain most recently served as chief of staff and chief financial officer for the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs. Born in Little Rock and raised in Scott, Booth received his Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina and served his country in many capacities from 2011-2019, including a 2015-16 deployment to Afghanistan. His passion for promoting “common man and common woman conservation” promises to increase the AGFC’s efforts to recruit, retain, and reactivate the next generation of Arkansas’s outdoors enthusiasts. His dedication to supporting science-based conservation will ensure the health of The Natural State’s resources.

7PM via Zoom