Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) Monitoring and Management Plan
Golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) face many threats in southern California. To reduce these threats and successfully conserve this species in western San Diego County, MSP Roadmap 2021-2026 objectives include the development and implementation of a “Management Strategic Plan for Golden Eagles in San Diego County” and a “Monitoring Strategic Plan for Golden Eagles in San Diego County”. These plans include general sections with background information and rationale for prioritizing and developing monitoring and management recommendations. Previously, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in collaboration with local, State, and other Federal agencies has conducted a multi-year research study of golden eagles to address questions regarding habitat use, movement behavior, nest occupancy, genetic population structure, and human impacts on eagles. From 2016-17, occupancy analyses were conducted and it was concluded that estimates of occupancy were greatest at sample sites with more rugged terrain conditions, lower human development, and lower amounts of scrubland vegetation cover (Weins et al. 2022). Tracking data from the last 10 years in the Western Unites States have shown eagles exhibit long-distance, nonroutine movements that were responsive to the updraft potential of the spatial and temporal landscape they encountered (Poessel et al. 2022). For the development of both Plans, chapters will be shaped based on the latest scientific information regarding occupancy, natal nesting success, juvenile dispersal, movement and biotelemetry, home range estimation, habitat use, and prey availability. Site-based threats assessment will be used to determine the best management practices. These plans are developed with input and guidance provided by the San Diego Golden Eagle working group, which includes include landowners and managers, scientists, species experts, and representatives from non-profit organizations, government, and wildlife agencies. Occurrence-specific management recommendations will be based on working group input and multiple years of data on Golden Eagle population status, habitat associations, and threats. These are living documents as the plans will be updated when new information becomes available or management actions are completed, and new recommendations are needed.