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Contact: Steve Windels, 218-283-6692
International Falls, MN:Two of the park's 276 developed visitor use camping and houseboat sites 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 at:
Kabetogama Lake –Happy Landing Campsite (K-11) and Camelback Island Campsite (K-3).
Twenty-three young fledged from 32 park nests this summer: 6 at Rainy Lake, 12 at Kabetogama Lake, 3 at Namakan Lake, and 2 at Sand Point Lake.Nesting failures occurred at 13 of 32 territories, a rate of 41%.Namakan and Sand Point Lakes, in particular, experienced a higher than normal proportion of nest failures.A severe snowy and cold early spring and excessive rainfall during incubation and shortly after hatching could be the cause for the failures.
The number of young produced per occupied breeding area for the 2014 breeding population in VNP was 0.72.Fifty-nine percent 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 thresholds.
VNP natural resource managers 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.
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."