Iowa Uses Public’s Birds-Eye View to Monitor Bald Eagles, Amphibians

Iowa wildlife officials are asking outdoor enthusiasts to cast a birds-eye view on bald eagle nests to help track their health, and are also on a mission to boost the number of amphibians in the state, all with the help of volunteers. There are between 700 and 800 eagle nests in Iowa, thanks in large part to protections from the Endangered Species Act, a federal law that just turned 50.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources Stephanie Shepherd says the state is using volunteer eagle watchers to monitor the health and progress of the nesting eagles, and focus on one key metric…

Shepherd says volunteers are an integral part of helping the D-N-R get an official bald eagle nest count in Iowa. The monitoring duties begin early next month.

According to Defenders of Wildlife, the bald eagle population has risen from 417 nesting pairs in 1963 to more than 71-thousand in the lower 48 states, thanks to protections of the Endangered Species Act. The Iowa D-N-R isn’t stopping at tracking eagles’ progress. Shepherd says the state is on a mission to teach volunteers the noises – or “calls” – that frogs and toads make in wetlands, in an effort to increase their numbers and track their health…

Using that knowledge, the volunteers will track the frogs and toads all summer in wetlands around the state. The eagle monitoring program is nearly full, but you can still register online to volunteer for the frog and toad call survey.

(credit to Iowa News Service)