Ea­gle eyed

Kalgoorlie Miner - - FRONT PAGE - Michael Du­laney

Re­search sheds light on bird be­hav­iour

Re­search car­ried out in the North­ern Gold­fields has helped shed light on the be­hav­iour of wedge-tailed ea­gles.

Si­mon Cher­ri­man un­der­took re­search on the gi­ant preda­tors at Lorna Glen, near Wiluna.

He tagged three ea­gles — adults Gid­jee and Wallu, and the ju­ve­nile Kuyurnpa — with GPS track­ers, al­low­ing their move­ments across a broad swathe of the Gold­fields to be ac­cu­rately traced. Re­cent data from the project shows the ter­ri­to­rial adults pa­trolling a “home range” around 50sqkm, and soar­ing as high as 6.5km.

Mr Cher­ri­man said he was also sur­prised by the huge area cov­ered by Kuyurnpa.

GPS data shows the path the young ea­gle took after she left home seek­ing her own ter­ri­tory.

Mr Cher­ri­man said the search took her across thou­sands of kilo­me­tres, down from the South Aus­tralian bor­der and nearly as far north as Broome.

“She’s been over Kal­go­or­lie a cou­ple of times, she’s crossed the Great Vic­to­ria Desert,” he said.

“Even in the first few weeks after dis­per­sal, it’s not just a few kilo­me­tres a day — it was a sud­den trip north, like she had an ap­point­ment she was late for.”

Mr Cher­ri­man said the re­search had helped give a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of how ea­gles pa­trolled their home patch.

“The work that was pre­vi­ously done on wed­gies in WA was in a pe­riod where there wasn’t this tech­nol­ogy we have now,” he said.

Pic­ture: Si­mon Cher­ri­man

Si­mon Cher­ri­man with Kuyurnpa the wedge-tailed ea­gle dur­ing re­cent re­search con­ducted at Lorna Glen near Wiluna.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.