Eleven years of Iowa bald eagle data is published!

Yeah! The research paper is published online in the Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management!

Lead Poisoning in Bald Eagles Admitted to Wildlife Rehabilitation Facilities in Iowa, 2004-2014

Thanks need to go to many people… Jodeane (at the Macbride Raptor Project then, now at The RARE Group), Terese and Dr Lori and volunteers with Black Hawk Wildlife Rehabilitation Project, Dr Z and staff at the Wildlife Care Clinic, SOAR volunteers for rescuing, transporting, collecting data, treating, and all that goes in to helping sick and injured eagles! I (Linette) can tell you that data collection is likely the least favorite activity in all of this… but oh so important!  Thanks also to Dr Z, Taylor, and Adam for help with statistics and organization.

Without the data, this paper could not have been published.

What did the data tell us about the lead exposure to bald eagles in Iowa?

  • The data gathered by wildlife rehabilitators in Iowa on lead exposure in bald eagles are consistent with datasets from many other rehabilitation centers.
  • Adult bald eagles had higher lead concentrations than immature or juvenile bald eagles, consistent with data on rehabilitating bald eagles (Cruz-Martinez et al. 2012) and data from bald eagles found dead (Franson and Russell 2014).
  • Lead concentrations were highest across all age classes during the autumn (October–January), which coincides with the hunting and trapping seasons in Iowa.
  • Wildlife rehabilitators routinely collect blood samples from bald eagles admitted. Prioritizing blood collection for a blood lead analysis in bald eagles can help direct care.