Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagles are facing threats from habitat loss, contaminants, and collisions with power lines and wind turbines. Risk to these threats can be behavior specific.
Considering Behavior When Predicting Habitat Use for the Endangered Tasmanian Wedge-Tailed Eagle
For example, the risk of collision with an automobile is less likely during high-altitude long-distance flights and more likely while perched near a road. Researchers from Tasmania and the USGS examined GPS tracking information from 22 recently fledged Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagles and categorized tracks into distinct behaviors. They determined where each behavior is most likely to occur on the landscape. The researchers found that eagles selected areas close to forest edges for perching and short-distance flights, and areas with steep slopes further away from forests for long-distance flights. This information enabled the team to successfully predict where long-distance flights would occur based on distance from the forest edge and slope. Accurate predictions of where behaviors occur on the landscape can guide planning for the placement of roads, power lines, and wind turbines to minimize risk.
Pay, J.M., Patterson, T.A., Proft, K.M., Cameron, E.Z., Hawkins, C.E., Koch, A.J., Wiersma, J.M., and Katzner, T.E., 2022, Considering behavioral state when predicting habitat use- Behavior-specific spatial models for the endangered Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle: Biological Conservation, v. 274, 109743. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2022.109743