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Eagles’ Precarious Perch

By Paul Rauber

This spring, just as the issue of opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling came up again in Congress, government researchers announced their discovery that the region plays a crucial role in the life cycle of golden eagles. Forty-five eaglets were fitted with satellite transmitters and then tracked on their first migration from their birthplace in Denali National Park. Returning north from the Lower 48, the birds bypassed Denali entirely (possibly because of the territoriality of its adult eagles). Instead, the young birds continued on another 500 miles to the wildlife-rich arctic coastal plain–exactly where the Bush administration envisions massive new oil development.

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