Interactions with Renewable Energy
Movement Ecology
Bird Aircraft Strike Hazard
Wildlife Toxicology


Here you can find information about the various studies CSG is involved with.

To get started, click one of the tabs above to learn about our projects in that category.

Alternatively, you can view a list of some of our projects by focal species.

Effects of Renewable Energy on Wildlife

Renewable energy development is important to reduce the effects of non-renewable energy on climate change. However, as with any type of human development, there are important ecological concerns.

Chief among these are direct effects on volant wildlife, such as mortality as a result of collision with wind turbine blades or solar panels, and indirect effects such as displacement and habitat destruction and alteration.

CSG conducts research on interactions of wildlife and renewable energy to inform conservation and management.


Wind Energy and Eagles

Eagles are a one of the species that is most at risk of collision with wind turbines. In addition, there is risk of indirect effects, such as habitat loss or avoidance. Because eagles are long-lived with low reproductive rate, high levels of mortality from wind turbine collisions can negatively affect eagle populations. Researchers at CSG study movements of eagles to understand how eagles use the landscape and where they may be most at risk of both direct and indirect effects of wind energy development.

Eastern North America

CSG is working with the Eastern Golden Eagle Working Group to study movements of golden eagles in the Appalachain Mountains. The study began in 2005 when the frist adult bald eagle was trapped. Since 2006, 100 eagles have been telmetered in 12 eastern states. This study examined the overlap between golden eagles and wind energy development, the influence of weather, topography, and experience on migratory movements, and golden eagle habitat use. Learn More


We began studying the movement ecology of Golden Eagles in California in 2012 to assess potential interactions between eagles and renewable energy. In California, expansion of renewable energy development has been driven by both state and federal initiatives to increase clean energy production. However, renewable energy has the potential to affect Golden Eagles through collisions between eagles and wind turbines and removal of eagle habitat. Our research has provided information for the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan for southern California Deserts as well as understanding potential risk of eagle collisions with wind energy developments throughout California. Learn More


Between 2017 and 2019, 44 golden eagles were tagged in southeast Wyoming with light-weight GPS telemetry. These collected data on time, location, speed, altitude, direction, and activity rate, and were part of a project to model the risk to golden eagles from wind turbines. Wyoming is home to one of the densest populations of breeding golden eagles in the contiguous United States in addition to wintering and interant eagles from out-of-state. Wyoming is also ranked 15th in the nation in wind power capacity, which is expected to increase. This overlap means empirically-based, site-specific models must be developed. Learn More


We tagged 14 bald eagles in south-central Oklahoma to produce highly detailed data on how and where they fly and use airspace. Analyzing these data in the context of topography, weather, and land cover gives us more of an understanding of what environmental conditions, and what eagle responses to those conditions, may put them at risk from wind turbines. This information should help wildlife managers and energy developers to make sound and scientifically-based decisions relating to the development of wind energy and eagles. Learn More


The first bald eagle nest in Kansas was reported in 1989. Since then, the population has grown considerably, with there being 137 nesting pairs as of 2018. At the same time wind energy is being developed in the state, putting bald eagles at risk of collision with turbines as well as from behavioral changes in response to these developments. 10 nestling bald eagles were tagged with light-weight telemetry units to track their movements, understanding them to better inform development of wind energy in the area. Learn More

Movement Ecology

Movement ecology at its most basic level is the study of movement of organisms. Movement is an integral part of life on earth – all organisms, from bacteria to red woods, at some point in the life cycle engage in movement.

Movements are influenced by internal factors, (e.g., age, reproductive status, sex) and external abiotic (e.g., weather, land cover, or elevation) or biotic (e.g., presence of other individuals or species) factors.

Understanding movement ecology is crucial to conservation because many conservation problems are linked to movement and can only be solved if we understand how and why organisms move.



Movement ecology research at CSG focuses on using telemetry to track animals in space and time. We use studies of movement ecology to understand and inform managers about how movements influence risk of anthropogenic threats such as collision with aircraft and wind turbines.

Bald Eagle Upland Area Usage

One of the densest populations of breeding and migratory bald eagles can be found in the Upper Midwest. These eagles use not only riparian areas (areas near lakes and rivers), but also regularly use upland areas away from water. In these more human-dominated environments, eagles encounter threats such as wind turbines, power poles and power lines, vehicles, and carrion contaminated with lead bullet fragments. We tagged 89 bald eagles with light-weight telemetry units in order to study their movements during all life-stages and understand how they are influenced by external factors such as weather and landscape characteristics. Learn More

Golden Eagles in Alaska National Parks

In locations in Alaska including Denali National Park and Preserve, fledgling golden eagles were outfitted with telemetry units to track their movements. This is part of a study to understand the movements of pre-breeding golden eagles in Alaska, including identifying what mechanisms drive this movement, identifying potential anthropogenic threats, quantifying winter and summer space use and movement, and defining natal dispersal. Learn More


Conservation, in its most basic sense is the management, protection, or restoration of our natural resources. It is vital to biodiversity, which the late E.O. Wilson (1992) described as our most valuable but least appreciated resource.


Biodiversity and Sustainability

At CSG, we undertake scientific research to inform conservation by sharing that knowledge with other scientists, managers, and the public. Managers especially can apply that knowledge to the management of biotic systems to aid in the protection, restoration, and sustained use of our natural resources.

Raven Competition with Tortoises

In the deserts of Southern California, populations of common ravens, who nest in human-made structures like billboards and power poles, are increasing. They are also predators of rare and declining wildlife, including the federally threatened population of desert tortoise in the Mojave Desert. Our research is focused on the movement of ravens in order to understand the extent to which they use natural desert areas where desert tortoise may occur. Ultimately, this data will help inform conservation efforts to best conserve desert tortoise through management of raven predation. Learn More

California Condors

The California condor is one of the most critically endangered and monitored species in North America. Historically, the species was distributed throughout North America but by the 1980’s, there were only 22 known individuals alive. Since then, the species has been supported by extensive captive breeding and management operations, as well as widespread legislative actions to support individuals and protect populations. Today there are greater than 200 condors in the wild and their range is expanding. Even as the population is in recovery, it still faces a number of anthropogenic threats. A major threat is lead poisoning from lead fragments in carcasses. Another threat to this obligate terrestrial soaring bird and may have a great potential to impact condors is collisions with wind turbines. Wind energy is among the fastest growing energy sectors in California and surrounding areas. Learn More

Bird Aircraft Strike Hazard (BASH)

Strike hazard between birds/wildlife and aircraft, also called BASH, poses a risk of injury and death to both people and wildlife. Additionally, aircraft-wildlife strikes also cause physical damage that can cost millions of dollars to repair.

To better understand how to manage this strike hazard, we study bird movements so that we can better understand when and where birds are likely to occupy the same space as aircraft.

Results from these studies can then be used to inform airfield managers when strikes hazards are more likely to occur, so they can better manage the personnel. Similarly, results can inform wildlife managers about when and which birds may be at risk so they can better manage individuals or populations to reduce strike hazards.


Human-Wildlife Interaction

Human-Wildlife Interactions is a broad topic of research that aims to understand how people, or their property or infrastructure, interact with wildlife (BASH is one example). In many instances, human-wildlife interactions are viewed as harmful to the people, to wildlife, or to both. We study human-wildlife interactions so that we can understand when and where harmful interactions are likely to occur and provide information on how they can be minimized or avoided.

Black Vultures

Black Vultures are a social species that congregate in groups of up to several hundred using one area, which can cause damage. They pick at synthetic materials like rubber on cars and buildings and asphalt shingles on roofs, their acidic excrement can damage various structures, they attack and kill livestock including piglets and calves, and they can collide with aircraft. Over the past few decades, populations of black vultures have been rapidly increasing and expanding their range in the Eastern United States. We are working to study their movements. Learn More

Bald Eagles

Bald eagle populations in the Chesapeake Bay Region, which had once declined due to pesticides, are now fully recovered. The population has grown so much that eagle-aircraft collisions have become a concern in the area, especially around Marine Corps Base Quantico and Fort A.P. Hill. Nearly 100 bald eagles have been trapped and tagged with telemetry units in Virginia as part of this project. With an understanding of eagle movement, eagle-aircraft strike hazard can be reduced in the region. Learn More

Wildlife Toxicology

Wildlife toxicology is the study of environmental contaminants and the subsequent uptake of those contaminants by animals.

Environmental contaminants that can negatively affect wildlife include pesticides, rodenticides, heavy metals, and a suite of additional human-made chemical compounds. These toxicants can be measured in tissues of live and dead animals as well as in water, soil, and vegetation.

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Lead and Wildlife

Lead (Pb) is a non-essential heavy metal, that although common in the Earth’s crust, is not naturally available to wildlife. There are multiple avenues by which Pb is introduced to the surface of the Earth through human activity, which becomes available to wildlife. Pb is a neurotoxin and metabolic poison and when ingested or inhaled, can negatively affect animals in multiple ways.

Lead Abatement

What strategies can be used to reduce mortalities of bald eagles due to lead poisoning in the Atlantic Flyway? To determine that, first we need an understanding of how lead gets to the eagles in the first place. We will analyze data collected with baited wildlife cameras throughout the Appalachian Mountains used to document scavenging wildlife. Our goal is to use this to quantify exposure rates of bald eagles to lead from carrion. Learn More

Non-lead Ammunition Distribution Programs

Bald and golden eagles face many risks, including collision with wind turbines, power line electrocution, vehicle collision and lead poisoning. For these birds to maintain healthy populations, It’s important to minimize the number of eagle deaths from any one source. Lead poisoning occurs when eagles ingest fragments within gut piles left by hunters in the field. But hunters can help prevent eagle deaths from lead poisoning by voluntarily using non-lead ammunition to harvest game. Learn More

Community Research and Education

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