USGS Raptor Research Center
The Raptor Research Center (RRC) operates in the College of Arts and Sciences at Boise State University. The RRC and the Department of Biology share common interests in basic biology and the conservation of natural resources. The center and department collaborate to pursue these interests through research, education, and conservation, especially regarding raptors (birds of prey) and their ecosystems.
The Raptor Research Center administers support from the state legislature for the Master of Science in Raptor Biology program. These state-appropriated funds are used largely to provide teaching assistantships and research support to graduate students and to faculty associated with the Raptor Biology graduate degree program.
The RRC provides space and basic office services to Raptor Biology graduate students and to students earning a Master of Science or Master of Arts in Biology. There are about 40 students enrolled in these master degree programs. RRC administrative staff includes three part-time permanent persons. The RRC also conducts grant-based research. There are temporary professional staff members employed under such grants and cooperative agreements. In 1990, Boise State University entered into a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Dept. of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, and recently the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center - Snake River Field Station (SRFS). This agreement provides for diverse collaboration toward the cooperators' mutual interests. Additionally, The Peregrine Fund, Inc. provides support toward graduate student research and RRC operations. The RRC provides office space and support for the Idaho Bird Observatory. The goal of these collaborations is to further accomplish the cooperators' respective missions as they relate to biology, ecology, conservation, and education. In recent years, the scope of work by the RRC has broadened to include a greater variety of species and more diverse problems and questions. RRC's research, education, and conservation objectives are met with support from significant cost share/challenge grant projects, and cooperative agreements. //rrc.boisestate.edu
Raptor Research Foundation
The Raptor Research Foundation (RRF) is a non-profit scientific society whose primary goal is the accumulation and dissemination of scientific information about raptors (hawks, eagles, falcons and owls). This information is used to inform the public (both scientific and lay) about the role of raptors in nature, and to promote the conservation of raptors whose populations are threatened by human activities. The RRF's membership consists of academic researchers, government agency employees, and others interested in birds of prey. RRF was organized in 1966 and started publishing a scholarly journal in 1967. The number of members has grown to more than 1200 and, even though based in the United States, RRF is an international organization including members in some 50 countries.
The RRF achieves its goals primarily through publication of research reports in The Journal of Raptor Research, but also holds an annual meeting at which research results are presented. The RRF also makes small grants and awards to support raptor studies and to make it possible for students to attend meetings of the society.
The RRF cooperates with similar societies in other countries, and with universities, state, and federal natural resource conservation agencies to accomplish its goals of education and conservation. Such collaborations have led to scientific meetings in other countries, international cooperation in conservation efforts, and the publication of special reports on threatened raptors. biology.boisestate.edu/raptor
World Working Group on Birds of Prey and Owls
The WWGBP has been active for 30 years now and today plays an important role in the promotion of raptor conservation and research on an international level. Its membership list today comprises over 1,000 raptor specialists and enthusiasts in all parts of the world, and anybody with an interest in raptors is welcome to become a member. One of the group's major activities is to organize world conferences as well as other international meetings.
WWGBP issues a newsletter to all members and subscribers, keeping them informed of current research, forthcoming conferences, status reports, recent publications, etc. WWGBP has also created e-mail discussion groups for rapid dissemination of information, ideas, requests etc. www.raptors-international.de
Boise State University, Idaho
The Master of Science in Raptor Biology is designed for students holding or expecting a bachelor degree in one of the disciplines of the biological sciences, to enhance their knowledge and understanding of raptor biology and ecology. The Snake River Birds of Prey Natural Area, with the largest concentration of nesting raptors in North America, is a unique resource for the study raptor biology and ecology. Furthermore, the Idaho Bird Observatory, a trapping and banding station, offers opportunities to study raptor migration. Raptor biologists working for State, federal, and private organizations located in Boise offer additional expertise and research opportunities. http://www.boisestate.edu/biology/mastersraptor.shtml
Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group
The Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group (SCPBRG) was formed in 1975 to restore an endangered peregrine falcon population in California. The peregrine falcon was removed from the federal endangered species List in 1999 and SCPBRG is proud to have played a leading role in that success. Today, SCPBRG is a problem-solving resource to government, corporation, and university researchers who require our unique expertise with birds of prey management www2.ucsc.edu/scpbrg/
Other Raptor Organizations
The Peregrine Fund, Inc. is an organization founded in 1970 at Cornell University from the shared concern of students and associates that the peregrine falcon might go extinct in the wild if nothing was done. Our initial work was to learn how to breed falcons in captivity, with the idea the young could be released in the wild to reestablish the peregrine in the eastern United States where it was already extinct and to bolster the greatly diminished western populations. In 1984, we consolidated our Cornell facility and our Ft. Collins, Colorado facility to our current location in Boise, Idaho--the World Center for Birds of Prey. Not only did we learn to propagate and release peregrine falcons, but we also accomplished the first successful release by hacking of bald eagles, helped save the mauritius kestrel from extinction, and much more. We learned that raptors can function as monitors of environmental health and that their conservation can create an umbrella of protection for life's diversity. Birds of prey are an excellent focus for conservation actions and scientific research.
Raptor Migration Organizations
HawkWatch International - The mission of HawkWatch International is to monitor and protect hawks, eagles, other birds of prey and their environments through research, education, and conservation. We believe that through our efforts to monitor and protect birds of prey (also known as raptors), we can also protect our shared environment, our rich natural heritage, and ourselves. Raptors are an essential part of healthy, functioning ecosystems. As regulators of natural systems, raptors are crucial to maintaining the stable, healthy, and diverse ecosystems upon which we all depend. And as sensitive and widespread predators at the apex of food chains, raptors are superior indicators of ecosystem health worldwide. Humans share these ecosystems with raptors and all other species--thus, whatever happens to the raptors will happen to us. The core of HWI's research program focuses on the development and maintenance of a long-term, large-scale database of raptor population numbers and trends. HWI collects these data primarily by operating a network of standardized migration count projects at migratory concentration points (ridgelines, coastlines, and other geographic features that concentrate migrating raptors). In the late 1970's, HWI's organizational precursors began some of the first significant efforts to monitor raptor populations in western North America. Since then, HWI has taken a lead in developing an extensive network of long-term, standardized count projects in the region. Currently, our monitoring network includes 14 sites in eight western states, and HWI is a founding partner in a project that monitors the world's largest raptor migration in Veracruz, Mexico.
HWI also uses trapping and banding, satellite telemetry, stable isotope analysis, and other methods to obtain raptor movement data. HWI project sites also support studies that may involve the collection of feathers, blood, and other noninvasive measurements, within the limits of federal regulations concerning the handling of raptors. We have contributed greatly to what is known about raptor populations in the United States, and our data are used by State and federal agencies, academia, and non-profit conservation organizations for setting raptor conservation and management priorities. The ultimate purpose of this work is to foster the maintenance of healthy, sustainable raptor populations and the ecosystems upon which they depend.
Golden Gate Raptor Observatory - The mission of the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory is to study migrating birds of prey along the Pacific coast and to promote public awareness of the state of raptor populations. The GGRO is dedicated to the conservation of raptors and to community involvement in wildlife research. Our studies of the movements of hawks through the Golden Gate National Recreation Area demonstrate that biological boundaries extend far beyond political boundaries. The GGRO is a project of the Golden Gate National Parks Association and the National Park Service, and is made up of 250+ community volunteers and a small staff.
Hawk Migration Association of North America - The Hawk Migration Association of North America was founded in 1974 as a not-for-profit all-volunteer organization. Its purpose is to advance the knowledge of raptor migration across continents; to help establish rational basis for future monitoring of raptor populations; and to provide, through the use of standard reporting forms and procedures, a data bank on migrations for the use of professional and amateur ornithologists.
Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Association - Raptors are wide-ranging, predatory birds that include hawks, eagles and falcons. Because they sit at the tops of many food chains, raptors-or birds of prey-are flagship indicators of ecosystem health, helping us understand our broader conservation needs. Hawk Mountain's mission is to foster the conservation of birds of prey worldwide and to create a better understanding of, and further the conservation of, the natural environment, particularly the Central Appalachian region.
Cape May Bird Observatory - Cape May, New Jersey is one of the most renowned birding areas, not only in the United States, but in the world. The peninsular geography and prevailing westerly winds create a migrant trap unmatched in eastern North America. Cape May is situated at the southeastern most tip of New Jersey. During periods of northwest and west winds in the fall, large numbers of southbound hawks, as well as other migrants, are steered toward the coast and subsequently funneled down the peninsula to Cape May. When migrating raptors arrive at the southern tip of the sate, the 13-mile expanse of Delaware Bay causes most species to hesitate before choosing a strategy for continuing their migration.
Each fall, 16 regularly occurring species of hawks migrate through Cape May. Late September through mid-October is the time of peak raptor diversity and marks the period when impressive numbers of peregrine falcons pass through. The Cape May Point Hawk Count platform has been staffed each fall since 1976 by the Cape May Bird Observatory's official hawk counter, from September 1 to the end of November. A daily and annual raptor count is tallied throughout the fall, and exceptional totals are recorded each year. Education interns are on hand from early September through early November to help novices hone their hawk identification skills.