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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 highly proficient in all aspects of Argos and GPS satellite telemetry and has applied this expertise to wildlife tracking for the last two decades.  He is involved in the development of radio telemetry techniques, especially satellite telemetry, for wildlife studies.  Some of Kirk’s current research includes a project with the Massachusetts DCR-Division of Water Supply Protection to study gull movements. Kirk and Mark Fuller (US Geological Survey) are studying snowy owl movements with Norm Smith, Massachusetts Audubon, and Denver Holt, Owl Institute.  Kirk created methods for early detection of mortality of bighorn sheep in collaboration with Nevada Dept. of Wildlife personnel and developed methods for finding avian transmitters under difficult field conditions. Some of Kirk’s past research includes: prairie falcon movements and survival with colleagues in the US Geological Survey; GPS/Argos tracking of cinereous vultures in Mongolia with colleague Nyamba Batbayar; monitoring avian passage rates during migration; analyses of winter bald eagle counts; surveys for northern spotted owls; surveys of nesting raptors in a variety of habitat types; and aerial surveys of mammals and avian species on public lands.  He worked with Idaho Fish and Game personnel to study raptor migration in Idaho and with Mark Fuller (US Geological Survey) toward development of the North American Raptor Monitoring Strategy, and a variety of other research projects.

We partner with federal, state and private individuals and organizations to design and conduct survey and monitoring projects and innovative studies using conventional telemetry (very high frequency) and satellite telemetry. Our involvement can include all phases of a given study or the acquisition, management, mapping, and interpretation of data. Several selected projects and references are described at this website.  See additional selected references and publications about surveys and use of radio telemetry.