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Park re-opens bald eagle nesting areas

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Six of Voyageurs National Park's 276 developed visitor use camping and houseboat sites that were affected by temporary closures in May to protect bald eagle nesting pairs now are re-opened for public use.

The areas affected by the temporary closures were at:

  • Rainy Lake—Sand Bay South Houseboat Site (R-25);
  • Kabetogama Lake-Happy Landing Campsite (K-11), Camelback Island Campsite (K-3), and Ek Bay Houseboat Site (K-47); and
  • Namakan Lake-Hamilton Bay Campsite (N-11) and Sexton Island Campsite (N-62).

Yoder Island Houseboat Site (K-37) on Kabetogama Lake was re-opened earlier this summer when the eagle nest near the site failed to hatch chicks.

Park 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 temporarily has closed the land and water areas around active bald eagle nests to visitor use during their critical nesting periods.

Voyageurs National Park completed its 46th-annual bald eagle productivity survey in late July.

Within the boundaries of the park, more than 100 nests were surveyed, of which 31 were occupied by breeding eagles that hatched at least one chick.

These nests produced at least 40 eagle chicks that survived to fledging.

Recent published research, conducted by Voyageurs' staff in collaboration with scientists from the University of Wisconsin and the U.S. Geological Survey, demonstrated that nest closures around selected nest sites near visitor use facilities increased the likelihood the nest successfully would rear young eagles.

The research also demonstrated the eagle population within Voyageurs National Park likely recovered much quicker than it would have had nest closures not occurred.

More information about the study can be found at news.wisc.edu/scouting-the-eagles-proof-that-protecting-nests-aids-reproduction

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