Bald eagle wildlife study using geographical information systems
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Bald Eagle Wildlife Study Using Geographical Information Systems. Project Proposal.

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Bald eagle wildlife study using geographical information systems

Bald Eagle Wildlife Study Using

Geographical Information Systems


Project proposal
Project Proposal

The State of Florida is looking for an area to set up increased protection for the bald eagle's habitat.  I was tasked by the State of Florida to help identify an ideal location to set up this preserve.  They would also like to know some of the manmade factors that could affect the survival of the species. The final decision will be made by the Conservation Board of Florida. After creating multiple maps showing the spatial relationship between bald eagle nests and factors that may affect the environment around those nests I have come up with two possible locations for a preserve. Of these two locations I recommend the selection of the area labeled Potential Area Two.

http://www.nhptv.org/NATUREWORKS/baldeagle.htm


Bald eagles
Bald Eagles

  • Bald eagles were named the National Symbol of the United States in 1782

  • At the time their population was estimated between 25,000 to 75,000 in the lower 48 States (Huerta)

  • Bald eagles feed primarily on fish

  • Bald eagles are monogamous and lay 1 to 3 eggs a year

  • With the introduction of the pesticide DDT to the environment, the population of the bald eagle dramatically declined to 420 breeding pairs by 1963

  • DDT banned

  • In 1973 they were listed as endangered by the Endangered Species Act

  • In the 30 years since the bald eagle’s numbers have grown to 4,450.

  • Florida has the second highest number of bald eagle breeding pairsin the lower 48

  • Bald eagles remain threatened


Distribution of Bald Eagle Breeding Pairs in the United States

Data taken from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and added to United States shapefile.

<http://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/issues/BaldEagle/baldeaglepopmapfinal.pdf>


Goals
Goals States

  • Locate an area in Florida to focus the project on

  • use GIS to map out bald eagle nests

  • use different man made and natural variables near bald eagle nests to select potential locations for increased protection

  • Major roads, rivers and lakes, solid waste facilities and major cities


Bald Eagle Nest States Shapefile

Florida County Shapefile

Downloaded from:

Florida Geographic Data Library

Downloaded from:

US Census GIS Data

Select by attribute only those nests that were active in 2006

Spatially join the Bald Eagle layer to the county layer

Spatial Join

Summarize the attribute table of the new shapefile using the FIPS column

Use graduated colors choropleth map to show the distribution of bald eagle nests per county.

Join attributes from the summarized table to the original county layer

Symbology



Analysis of choropleth map
Analysis of Choropleth Map States

  • From the choropleth map I decided to select nine counties for a larger scale analysis of the bald eagle

  • Polk county had the greatest number of active eagle nests in 2006

  • I selected Polk county and the following other counties for analysis: Volusia, Seminole, Orange, Lake, Alachua, Marion, Polk, Osceola



Bald Eagle Nest States Shapefile

Selected Area Shapefile

Use ToolBox to merge the counties to create a single large polygon .

Use the selected area shapefile to clip the bald eagle nest data by location

Selected Area Merged Polygon

Clip

New Shapefile created of just those nests located inside the selected area.



Perform the same clip operation to
Perform the same clip operation to that fall within.

  • Florida Major Roads

  • Florida Rivers and Lakes

  • Florida Solid Waste Facilities

  • Florida Major Cities


Bald Eagle Nest Clip that fall within.

Florida Major Roads

Selected Area

Use buffers to clip the bald eagle nest that intersect the roads buffer

Create buffers around the Major Roads

CLIP


Buffers around Roads that fall within.

scale 1:2,000,000 meters


Buffers around Roads that fall within.

Scale 1:400,000 meters


Roads bald eagle nest
Roads & Bald Eagle Nest that fall within.

  • Total Number of Bald Eagle Nests in Selected Area 578

  • Put buffers around the roads to show how close the birds nests are. Use select by location to find out the number of nests inside the buffer.

  • 200 meter buffer: how many nests are within that buffer: 56

  • 400 meter buffer: how many within this buffer: 118

  • 800 meter buffer: how many within this buffer: 233

  • 1600 meter buffer: how many in this buffer: 358


Bald Eagle Nest Clip that fall within.

Solid Waste

Selected Area

Use buffers to clip the bald eagle nest that intersect the solid waste buffer

Create buffers around the Solid Waste Facilities

CLIP


Buffers around Solid Waste Facilities that fall within.

Scale 1:2,000,000


Buffers around Solid Waste Facilities that fall within.

Scale 1:400,000 meters


Solid waste facilities bald eagle nest
Solid Waste Facilities & Bald Eagle Nest that fall within.

  • Total Number of Bald Eagle Nests in Selected Area 578

  • Put buffers around the solid waste facilities to show how close the birds nests are. Use select by location to find out the number of nests inside the buffer.

  • How many nests are within 200 meters: zero

  • How many nests are within 400 meters: 1

  • How many nests are within 800 meters: 3

  • How many nests are within 1600 meters: 10

  • How many nests are within 3200 meters: 50

  • How many nests are within 6400 meters: 145


Bald Eagle Nest Clip that fall within.

Rivers & Lakes

Selected Area

Use buffers to clip the bald eagle nest that intersect the rivers and lakes buffer

Create buffers around the Rivers and Lakes

CLIP


Buffers around Rivers & Lakes that fall within.

Scale 1:2,000,000


Buffers around Rivers & Lakes that fall within.

Scale 1:400,000 meters


Rivers lakes bald eagle nest
Rivers & Lakes & Bald Eagle Nest that fall within.

  • Total Number of Bald Eagle Nests in Selected Area 578

  • Put buffers around the rivers and lakes to show how close the birds nests are. Use select by location to find out the number of nests inside the buffer.

  • How many nests are within 200 meters: 31

  • How many nests are within 400 meters: 53

  • How many nests are within 800 meters: 107

  • How many nests are within 1600 meters: 182

  • How many nests are within 3200 meters: 265

  • How many nests are within 6400 meters: 346


Bald Eagle Nest Clip that fall within.

Major Florida Cities

Selected Area

Use buffers to clip the bald eagle nest that intersect the city buffer

Create buffers around the Cities

CLIP


Buffers around Florida Major Cities that fall within.

Scale 1:2,000,000


Buffers around Florida Major Cities that fall within.

Scale 1:400,000 meters


Major cities bald eagle nest
Major Cities & Bald Eagle Nest that fall within.

  • Total Number of Bald Eagle Nests in Selected Area 578

  • Put buffers around the cities to show how close the birds nests are. Use select by location to find out the number of nests inside the buffer.

  • How many nests are within 200 meters: zero

  • How many nests are within 400 meters: zero

  • How many nests are within 800 meters: zero

  • How many nests are within 1600 meters: 9

  • How many nests are within 3200 meters: 31

  • How many nests are within 6400 meters: 112


Final map
Final Map that fall within.

  • For a final map I added buffers from each of the variables to the map

  • Chose the buffer based on what the average number of nest within the buffers was

  • The buffer closest to the average was chosen

  • Selected the bald eagle nests that did not intersect any of the buffers



Potential Sites for Extra Protection of Bald Eagles Waste Facilities

Potential Area 1

Scale 1:275,000

Potential Area 2

Scale 1:275,000



Conclusion
Conclusion Waste Facilities

The two possible areas for increase protection that I chose were chosen because they both had a large number of bird nests, were located near water supplies and were not intersecting any of the buffers that were created around the man made variables.

Of the two areas I would suggest the second over the first because there is a larger area of land without major roads. It also appears from the raster data that there are more areas of water.


Future research suggestions
Future Research Suggestions Waste Facilities

  • Study the selected areas at a larger scale

  • Study the selected areas with more variables

  • Add a habitat shapefile to find out what trees the bald eagles like to nest in

  • Study the possible future land use in the area

  • Add building shapefiles to a larger scale study

  • Add non major roads

  • Add information on bald eagle mortality events


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