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Golden Eagle Food Habits in the Mojave Desert: Regional information for a changing landscape.

August 28, 2017

Expansion of renewable energy development is rapidly transforming the Mojave Desert landscape and has the potential to impact Golden Eagles through loss of foraging habitat and reduced prey base. Regional information on Golden Eagle food habits is limited and little is known of how dietary variability influences eagle productivity. We examined diet using motion activated trail cameras and collection of prey remains at 18 nests during two seasons (2014 and 2015). As well as Golden Eagle prey abundance spotlight line transects conducted and data collected throughout the Mojave Desert Ecoregion in 2014 and 2015. The 138 spotlight line transects conducted in 2014 were a uniform 5 km in length, while the 45 spotlight line transects in 2015 were variable lengths but generally in the range 15- 20 km in length. Species observations include distance into spotlight line transect (Odometer readings) and NAD83 UTM zone 11S easting/northing coordinates, and distance from the spotlight line transect center. Data also included are general weather at time of spotlight line transects i.e. temperature and wind speed, spotlight line transect start and end times, NAD83 UTM zone 11S coordinates for spotlight line transect starting and ending locations.

This data is detailed in 6 tables:
USGS Camera Data
USGS Prey Remains
USGS Spotlight Transect Data 2014
USGS Spotlight Transect Data 2015
USGS Transect Locations 2014
USGS Transect Locations 2015

These data support the following report:
Longshore, K. M.; T.C. Esque; K.E. Nussear; Diego Johnson; Matthew Simes; R.D. Inman,. U. S. Geological Survey. 2015. An Assessment of Food Habits, Prey Availability, and Nesting Success of Golden Eagles Within the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan Area. California Energy Commission. Publication number: CEC-500-2017-003.