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RRC Expertise

Raptor Research Center staff members have a variety of experience with raptor biology, survey and monitoring projects, and utilizing radio telemetry to address objectives associated with animal movements.

Marc Bechard is interested in plants and animals, particularly birds.  He has conducted botanical and air pollution research projects but more recently has turned to ecological studies of the habitat needs of such birds of prey as eagles, hawks, falcons, and ospreys with the aim of helping to preserve biological diversity.

Mark Fuller has worked on survey and monitoring methods, summaries of raptor population status, raptor food habits, avian habitat use, and the annual movements of birds.

Kirk Bates is interested and involved in many aspects of survey and monitoring studies, including development of objectives and study designs, methods and their implementation, data acquisition, management, interpretation, and mapping.  He has focused primarily on raptors and other avian species, is highly proficient in all aspects of Argos and GPS satellite telemetry, as well as more current mobile telemetry tracking systems, and has applied this expertise to tracking wildlife movements for the last two decades.  Kirk is involved in the development of radio telemetry techniques, especially satellite telemetry, for wildlife studies, and innovative designs and studies using conventional telemetry, satellite telemetry, GSM, and other tracking systems. He developed methods for locating and retrieving satellite transmitters under difficult field conditions and created methods for early detection of bighorn sheep mortality in collaboration with Nevada Dept. of Wildlife personnel.  Some of Kirk’s current research includes studying snowy owl movements with Mark Fuller (US Geological Survey) and Norman Smith (Massachusetts Audubon Society) and studying raptors and ravens on DOD lands.  Some past research projects include: prairie falcon movements and survival using satellite telemetry with colleagues in the US Geological Survey; a project with the Massachusetts-Division of Water Supply Protection to study annual and local scale gull movements using satellite telemetry in eastern North America; satellite tracking of cinereous vultures in Mongolia with colleague Nyamba Batbayar; raptor migration monitoring in Idaho with Idaho Fish and Game personnel; analyses of winter bald eagle counts in the U.S.; surveys for northern spotted owls; nesting raptor surveys in a variety of habitat types; aerial surveys of mammals and avian species on public lands; and a variety of other research projects.

Kirk and the RRC partner with federal and state agencies, international entities, corporations, organizations, and private individuals, to design and conduct survey and monitoring projects.  We conduct grant/contract-based research, and our involvement can include all or specific phases of a given study.  Several selected projects and references are described at this website.  See additional selected references and publications about surveys and use of radio telemetry.