Wings Across the Americas, a U.S. Forest Service program that represents an integrated and collaborative approach to the conservation of our birds and bats, recognizes outstanding work by employees and their conservation partners each year. Doctoral student David Kramar (’04 M.S. in geography), a project supervisor with the Conservation Management Institute, shared this year’s “Research Management and Partnership Award” as a member of the Eastern Golden Eagle Working Group, which was recognized for the development of conservation programs and the group’s outreach efforts.

The objective of the Eastern Golden Eagle Working Group is to ensure the long-term sustainability of already-scarce eastern golden eagle populations and to make the species a flagship for landscape-scale conservation. Started in 2010, the group is an international collaboration of biologists and wildlife managers from over 20 U.S. and Canadian institutions. Their publication of an assessment of the eastern golden eagle in the journal of the American Ornithologists’ Union successfully increased focus on golden eagle conservation in eastern states and provinces.

Among the group’s many successes is a camera-trapping program utilizing around 200 volunteers and 150 trail camera stations. The captured images enable researchers to evaluate the population status of not only the golden eagle, but also other species including the bald eagle, red-shouldered hawk, and several small mammal species.