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Time to comment on eagle data and status reviews

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In recent weeks, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife has posted three wildlife-related notices in the Federal Register and are accepting public comments and information submissions. Bald and Golden Eagle Collision Risk Models The first of these opportunities relates to a collision risk model for bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) and golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) at wind energy facilities. The model’s estimates are used to inform incidental take permit allowances for the eagles, which are protected under both the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. In previous years, USFWS used golden eagle data as a proxy to estimate bald eagle collisions because bald eagle-specific data was not available. Recently, the Service was able to update their data for golden eagles and gather new data specific to bald eagles. “The Service acknowledges, however, that the bald eagle collision prior [data] is based on data from relatively few sites that do not span the range of bald eagle density conditions that exist across the country, and therefore may not be representative of all locations,” the USFWS wrote in the notice. Acknowledging these limitations, the USFWS presented three alternatives for incorporating the new data into the CRM, each with varying [...]

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