July 27, 2012
Contact: Steve Windels
Four of the park's 239 developed visitor use camping and houseboat 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 were marked with closure signs and buoys.
The four reopened developed areas are:
· Rainy Lake -Sand Bay South (R25) houseboat site and Skipper Rock Island (R45) houseboat site
· Kabetogama Lake - Happy Landing Campsite (K11) and Yoder Island (K 37) houseboat sites.
The one reopened undeveloped areas is:
· Kabetogama Lake - West Sphunge Island Inlet
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.
Voyageurs National Park biologists found 72 nests within the park boundary this breeding season, the 40 th consecutive aerial eagle survey at the park. Since the start of the 2011 breeding season, 6 new nests have been found inside Voyageurs National Park while 7 nests have been lost when nests blew out of nest trees or nest trees fell over. Adults were observed incubating at 34 nests compared to 36 in 2011, 33 in 2010, 38 in 2009, 30 in 2006, 26 in 2004 and 2005, and 20 pairs in 1999. Incubation occurred at 1 park nest on Crane Lake, 2 on Sandpoint Lake, 16 on Kabetogama Lake, 6 on Namakan Lake, and 9 on Rainy Lake.
Thirty-three young fledged from 25 park nests: 24 at Kabetogama, 3 at Namakan, 5 at Rainy, and 1 at Sand Point. Seventy-three per cent of all fledged young in the park in 2012 originated from 16 nests at Kabetogama Lake. Nesting failures occurred at 10 territories: 3 of 8 areas on Rainy, 3 of 6 areas on Namakan, 1 of 17 areas on Kabetogama, 1 of 2 areas on Sand Point, and 1 of 1 areas on Crane Lake.
The number of young produced per occupied breeding area for the 2012 breeding population in Voyageurs National Park was 0.89. Sixty-eight per cent of breeding pairs occupying a breeding area successfully raised at least one fledgling. Breeding success of 70% and productivity of 1.0 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 your bald eagles of Voyageurs National Park. Reducing the potential adverse impacts at eagle nesting areas ensures that we are successful at sustaining the VNP eagle population. Come out and enjoy the park's eagles."
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