On Feb. 16, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, with assistance from David Kramar, project associate at the Conservation Management Institute at Virginia Tech's College of Natural Resources and Environment, released a golden eagle that was caught in a foothold trap in Craig County by a coyote trapper. The Wildlife Center of Virginia rehabilitated the eagle.
Prior to release, at Harvey's Knob Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway, VDGIF and CMI outfitted the eagle with a cellular-based tracking device in an effort to monitor the foraging and migration patterns of this bird.
Kramar, a Ph.D. candidate in geography, trapped an average of two golden eagles a week from early February to mid-March to tag them with the tracking device as part of a population study involving 30 research partners from the Blue Ridge Mountains to Canada. In addition, Kramar is collecting biological samples to assess contaminants such as lead and mercury in the eagles. In addition, Kramar is collecting biological samples to assess contaminants such as lead and mercury in the eagles.
Photos by Kelsey Kradel