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Wed, July 08

Yearly survey tallies 123 eagles in lakes Mead, Mohave area

On Jan. 15, Carrie Norman, left, and Jason Lawor, right, watch for eagles and birds as Alex Swicegood drives the boat during the annual eagle survey conducted by the National Park Service at Lake Mead. (Ellen Schmidt/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP)

On Jan. 15, Carrie Norman, left, and Jason Lawor, right, watch for eagles and birds as Alex Swicegood drives the boat during the annual eagle survey conducted by the National Park Service at Lake Mead. (Ellen Schmidt/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Biologists and volunteers tallied 120 bald eagles and three golden eagles during an annual survey at Lake Mead National Recreation Area on the Colorado River, a National Park Service official said Tuesday.

Park spokeswoman Christie Vanover said Tuesday the number was down from January 2018, when spotters on boats using binoculars counted 137 bald and five golden eagles in an annual midwinter survey on the vast Lake Mead and Lake Mohave reservoirs.

No count was conducted in 2019 due to a federal government shutdown.

The survey dates to the 1990s and is part of a national effort to track the population and distribution of bald eagles across the country. Eagles are considered an indicator of the ecological health of an area, and can traditionally be spotted from late-November to March at lakes Mead and Mohave.

Bald eagles were listed as endangered in 1967, close to extinction in the lower 48 states of the U.S. The species has recovered in years since.

Over the last decade, Vanover said the local eagle census tallied a high of 178 in 2011 and a low of 113 in 2016. Lower counts in 2017 and 2015 were attributed to fewer search parties being able to participate.

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