Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Eagle population hits record high in Wisconsin; 1,590 nesting pairs found during annual surveySubmitted: 12/06/2017
Katie Thoresen
Katie Thoresen
Senior Producer
kthoresen@wjfw.com

Eagle population hits record high in Wisconsin; 1,590 nesting pairs found during annual survey
ONEIDA COUNTY - In 1973, the DNR found 108 nesting pairs of eagles. 

This year, it found 1,590, which is the highest number of eagles in the state since the DNR started the survey. 

"If you had asked our eagle folks 25 years ago if we would ever see 1,500 pairs of nesting eagles in the state. I think the answer would have been no way," said DNR Natural Heritage Conservation program coordinator Jim Woodford. 


The DNR found 86 more nesting pairs of eagles in the state than they did last year, but it actually went down in Oneida County.

Oneida and Vilas counties have the highest populations of eagles in the state. 

Woodford, who was part of the DNR's survey team, says the decrease of nesting pairs isn't necessarily a bad thing. 

It likely means that the eagle population in Oneida County has reached its maximum size. 

"The one surprising thing this year was the lack of any new territories showing up in Oneida County. It's not anything to be concerned about eagles. It's just the natural thing. There's only enough space for the numbers that we have," said Woodford.

The rising eagle population over the years has meant a large patient load of wildlife rehabilitators like Mark Naniot. 

The Wild Instincts Rehabilitation Director said he used to only see two or three eagles a year when he first started out about 30 years ago. 

Last year, he took in 47.

"We see a lot more territorial fights than we saw before because of course there's more eagles so they're fighting more for territory. They're spreading their limits out a lot more," said Naniot. 

Woodford says banning the pesticide DDT helped the eagle population the most. It was banned in 1972.
Now, according to Naniot, cars and lead poisoning are the biggest threats to eagles. 

"About 80-85 percent of the eagles that we see have some levels of lead or toxic levels where they need to be treated," said Naniot.

Naniot tests every eagle he gets for lead. He says it only takes a small particle of lead to poison an eagle.
Naniot says those lead particles usually come from bullets. Lead particles from bullet usually spread about an eight-inch radius around the entry wound. 

If hunters leave the deer carcass somewhere that eagles can get to it, eagles can ingest a lead particle.
"On your hunting and fishing equipment, get rid of the lead, we've been trying to tell people that for many years. There's alternatives out there," said Naniot. "Get rid of the lead. Get the newer equipment that doesn't contaminate the equipment."

While Naniot hopes people will remove lead from their outdoor gear, the rising eagle population makes him and Woodford hopeful for the species future. 

Woodford said the biggest surprise was finding a nest in Kenosha County. 

It's the first time one was found in the county in more than a century. There's now only two counties in Wisconsin, Milwaukee and Walworth, without a nesting pair of eagles. 


Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

Play Video

WAUSAU - Gov. Scott Walker sees health insurance premiums going up and insurers leaving Wisconsin's Obamacare marketplaces.

He has a plan he says will help fix both problems.

After touring the new cardiac intensive care unit at Aspirus Wausau Hospital on Tuesday, Walker promoted his plan.

"In my mind, Washington has failed [on health care]. Wisconsin is going to lead," he said.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander woman stole nearly $30,000 from the car dealership that she worked at, according to a criminal complaint.

Police arrested Anna Petersen this week and prosecutors charged her with a felony of theft in a business setting.  She made her initial appearance in Oneida County Court Tuesday afternoon.

Her bosses at Rhinelander GM told detectives Petersen, 41, authorized at least five checks to be cashed as "petty cash" over the last two months.  The checks totaled to $28,796.86.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - A Minocqua man pleaded no contest Tuesday to a charge related to a child sexual assault case dating back nearly two years.  Nathan Warbalow, 26, reached a plea deal with Oneida County prosecutors that will help him avoid a longer prison sentence and eliminated the need for a jury trial, set for this week.

Warbalow's victims, who were under the age of 13, told police he made a game of trying to pull his pants down in 2016.  One victim told police Warbalow promised her a Popsicle if she touched his private parts.

+ Read More

LAND O LAKES - A snowmobiler died last night after hitting a tree near Land O Lakes.

The Vilas County Sheriff's Department tells us they got a 911 call around 8:15 p.m. Monday.

+ Read More

EAGLE RIVER - The young athletes at Northwoods Child Development Center in Eagle River may not be ready to compete in the Olympics, but they're off to a pretty good start. 

"We believe in learning through play," said Director Teri Mason. 

The kids at the childcare center have been learning all about the Olympics by doing their own versions of the sports they're seeing on TV.

+ Read More

MERRILL - A 27-year veteran of the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office hopes to become that department's next leader.  Lieutenant Ken Schneider announced his candidacy for Lincoln County Sheriff on Tuesday afternoon.

Current Sheriff Jeff Jaeger announced he would retire at the end of his term, which finishes in early 2019.  Jaeger has been sheriff for 11 years.

Schneider currently serves as senior patrol supervisor.  He started his career with the LCSO as a corrections officer.  In the past, Schneider supervised the Sheriff's Office detectives, telecommunications division, and was SWAT team supervisor.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - Voting polls opened for the Wisconsin Supreme Court Primary Election Tuesday.

However, election officials had mixed feelings about the number of voters showing up.

Election Official Patty Fitzpatrick worked at the Oneida County Department of Aging voting location.
She saw a low number of voters, but she doesn't think that's because of weather.

"A lot of people view the election for judges as kind of a snooze, which is unfortunate because it really is important, because it's the judges who are upholding the law and making the law," said Fitzpatrick.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here