2013 bald eagle nesting areas reopened in voyageurs national park

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Date: August 23, 2013
Contact: Tawnya Schoewe, 218-283-6670
Contact: Steve Windels, 218-283-6692

International Falls, MN:Three of the park's 238 developed visitor use camping andhouseboat sites and one undeveloped area that were affected by temporary closures in May to protect bald eagle nesting pairs are now reopened for public use.

The areas affected by the temporary closures reopened for public use were:

  • Rainy Lake –Sand Bay South (R25) and Skipper Rock Island (R45) houseboat sites.
  • Kabetogama Lake – Yoder Island (K 37) houseboat site.
  • One undeveloped area on the west end of Sphunge Island, Kabetogama Lake.

The park is obligated to follow the conservation management actions of the Bald Eagle and Golden Eagle Management Act (16 U.S.C. 668-668c, 1940 as amended). Each year since 1992, the park has temporarily closed the land and water areas around active bald eagle nests to visitor use during their critical nesting periods.

Thirty young fledged from 24 park nests: 6 at Rainy Lake, 14 at Kabetogama Lake, 5 at Namakan Lake, 3 at Sand Point Lake, and 2 at Crane Lake.Nesting failures occurred at 16/38 territories in 2013, a rate of 42%.Rainy and Kabetogama Lakes, in particular, experienced an unusually high proportion of nest failures (45% and 55%, respectively).Three nests failed on Kabetogama Lake due to extreme winds which blew nests and nest trees down. Other causes of nest failure are unknown.

The number of young produced per occupied breeding area for the 2013 breeding population in Voyageurs National Park was 0.79.63% of breeding pairs occupying a breeding area successfully raised at least one fledgling. Productivity of 1.0 and breeding success of 70% are considered characteristics of a healthy bald eagle breeding populations; long-term averages for Voyageurs National Park approach these threshholds.


Superintendent Mike Ward said, "We appreciate the public's assistance in protecting the bald eagles of Voyageurs National Park. Reducing the potential adverse impacts at eagle nesting areas ensures that we are successful at sustaining the park's population of eagles, an extremely important component of the aquatic ecosystem."


About the National Park Service: More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 398 national park service units and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.

Last updated: April 10, 2015

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Mailing Address:

Voyageurs National Park Headquarters
360 Hwy 11 East

International Falls, MN 56649


(218) 283-6600

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