Eagles: Glossary and Acronyms

Abandoned Nest: A bald eagle nest that is intact or partially intact but has been inactive through six or more consecutive nesting seasons. While the buffer zone surrounding the nest is no longer protected, the nest itself may not be altered. Compare with Alternate Nest.

Active Nest: A nest that shows or showed evidence of breeding by bald eagles, such as an adult attending the nest or in incubating position, a clutch of eggs, or a brood of nestlings, at any time during the current or most recent nesting season.

Active Territory: A bald eagle nesting territory that contains or contained an active nest at any time during the current or most recent nesting season.

Adaptive Management: A decision process that promotes flexible decision-making that can be adjusted as outcomes from management actions and other events are better understood. Adaptive management recognizes the importance of natural variability in contributing to ecological resilience and productivity. It is not a "trial and error" process, but rather emphasizes "learning while doing."

Alternate Nest: A bald eagle nest that is intact or partially intact and has been used by bald eagles at any time during the past five nesting seasons, but that was not used during the current or most recent nesting season. An inactive nest is considered to be an alternate nest until it has been inactive for five consecutive nesting seasons, at which time it becomes an Abandoned Nest. Bald eagles often build multiple nests within their territory, but usually only one will be used for nesting in any given nesting season. Compare with Abandoned Nest.

Area of Occupancy: The smallest area of suitable habitats essential at any stage to the survival of bald eagles in Florida, based on the presumption that each active nesting territory contains 397 - 794 acres (1 - 2 square kilometers). Based on 1,101 known active territories, the Area of Occupancy of bald eagles in Florida was estimated to be between 658 and 1,275 square miles in early 2005. To qualify for listing as a species of special concern in Florida, a species must have an area of occupancy of <700 square miles. See also Extent of Occurrence.

Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act: The federal law enacted in 1940 that now serves as the primary protection for bald eagles nationally now that the eagle has been removed from protection under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

Bald Eagle Conservation Fund: A fund to be established between the FWC and the Wildlife Foundation of Florida to collect "monetary contributions" (conservation funds) from the issuing of FWC Eagle Permits to applicants whose projects impact buffer zones of active or alternate bald eagle nests. Each year, the amount charged will change by an amount equal to the annual Consumer Price Index for the Southeast region, and will be based on changes during the CPU calendar year (1 January-31 December). The appropriate change to the monetary contribution should take effect on 1 March of each year because the CPI for the previous year is usually not available until mid-February. The contribution will be calculated based on the date that a completed application is received by FWC.

Breeding Productivity: The number of nestlings produced by an eagle pair or population. Nestlings should be surveyed just before they fledge. The recommended procedure for determining breeding productivity is to divide the number of nestlings produced by the number of active nesting territories. Compare with Reproductive Success.

Communal Roost: An area where bald eagles gather and perch overnight, or and sometimes during the day during inclement weather. Communal roosts are usually in large trees (alive or dead) that are close to foraging areas. Communal roosts are rare in Florida.

Conservation Measures: One or more actions provided by landowners to benefit bald eagles in exchange for a permit to conduct an activity within the buffer zone of an active or alternate bald eagle nest in Florida..

Core Nesting Area: One of 16 regions in Florida that contains a high density of bald eagle nesting territories (Figure 3, page 7 of the Bald Eagle Management Plan). Together, the core areas support a majority of the state's known active nesting territories. The core nesting areas are numbered chronologically from the year of discovery and are located in the following regions: (1) lakes Lochloosa, Newnans, and Orange in Alachua County; (2) Lake George in Lake, Marion, Putnam, and Volusia counties; (3) the middle St. Johns River in Brevard, Seminole, and Volusia counties; (4) the Kissimmee chain of lakes in Osceola and Polk counties; (5) the Placida Peninsula in Charlotte and Sarasota counties; (6) the Harris chain of lakes in Lake, Marion, and Sumter counties; (7) the Lee County coast; (8) St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge in Franklin County; (9) St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge in Wakulla County; (10) the Lower St. Johns River in Clay, Flagler, and St. Johns counties; (11) Rodman Reservoir in Marion and Putnam counties; (12) the central Gulf Coast in Citrus, Hernando, and Pasco counties; (13) central Polk County; (14) Lake Istokpoga in Highlands County; (15) the northeast shore of Lake Okeechobee in Martin and Okeechobee counties; and (16) coastal Charlotte County.

Development of Regional Impact: A development that is likely to have regional effects beyond the local government jurisdiction in which it is located.

Disturb: As defined by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), to agitate or bother a bald or golden eagle to the degree that causes, or is likely to cause, based on the best scientific information available, 1) injury to an eagle, 2) a decrease in its productivity, by substantially interfering with normal breeding, feeding, or sheltering behavior, or 3) nest abandonment, by substantially interfering with normal breeding, feeding, or sheltering behavior.

Endangered Species Act: The federal law enacted in 1973 that offered primary protection nationally to bald eagles. When the bald eagle was removed from the list of species protected under the Endangered Species Act on 8 August 2007, the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act became the primary protection to eagles nationwide.

Extent of Occurrence: The area contained within a minimum convex polygon encompassing all known nesting territories. Based on 1,101 known active territories, the Extent of Occurrence of bald eagles in Florida was estimated to be 52,979 square miles in early 2005. To qualify for listing as a species of special concern in Florida, a species must have an extent of occurrence of <7,700 square miles. See also Area of Occupancy.

Exterior Construction: All construction and related work for homes or other buildings, including roads, sewer and water lines, power lines, fill, or excavation work.

F.A.C.: Florida Administrative Code.

Fledgling: A young eagle that is capable of flight and that has left the nest, usually at 10-12 weeks of age. Fledglings may return to the nest for several weeks to be fed or to roost. Compare with Nestling.

FWC: The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the state agency legally mandated to protect and manage Florida's native wildlife resources.

FWC Eagle Permit: A permit issued by the FWC to allow for activities that would otherwise be prohibited by law, such as disturbance, nest removal, capture for rehabilitation, or scientific collection. Some activities require conservation measures to be conducted before a permit will be issued. Because the USFWS has yet to finalize its permitting process, the relationship between state and federal permits remains to be determined, but the need for duplicative permits will be minimized to the greatest extent possible.

Harass: see Disturb.

Harm: see Disturb.

Inactive Nest: A bald eagle nest that was not used during the current or most recent nesting season. See Abandoned Nest and Alternate Nest.

Inactive Territory: A bald eagle nesting territory that does not contain an active nest during the current or most recent nesting season.

Interior Construction: Any activity or related work for homes or other buildings that is carried out inside a building that has completed exterior walls, roof, windows, and doors.

Land Development Code: Any ordinance that regulates development.

Local Government: Any agency or governmental body including state agencies such as the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the five water management districts.

Lost Nest: A nest that is no longer present from natural causes (e.g., one that fell apart or was blown out of a tree). In some cases, the nest tree itself may be lost. The FWC recommendations in the section entitled Permitting Framework April 2008 section apply to lost nests through two complete, consecutive nesting seasons. Compare with Abandoned Nest.

Nest: A structure of sticks created, modified, or used by bald eagles for reproduction, whether or not reproduction was successful. Most nests are in living trees, but some nests are built in snags, on communication towers or other artificial structures, or on the ground. Most eagle territories contain more than one nest; the average across the eagle's range is 1.5 nests/territory. See also Abandoned Nest, Active Nest, Alternate Nest, Lost Nest, and Unknown Nest.

Nesting Season: In Florida, the period 1 October-15 May, unless the eagle pair nests before 1 October or the young fledge before or after 15 May.

Nesting Success: See Breeding Productivity and Reproductive Success.

Nesting Territory: The area associated with one breeding pair of bald eagles and that contains one or more nests. In rare cases, a nesting territory may lack a nest at the time of the survey, as when the nest is destroyed by severe weather.

Nestling: A young eagle (eaglet) that is incapable of flight and that is dependent on its parents. Once an eaglet fledges (i.e., leaves the nest), it becomes a fledgling.

Non-Injurious Disturbance: Persistent and intentional disturbance to disperse bald eagles from a site, such as an airport or a fish hatchery, without physical capture or direct handling, or by any means likely to cause injury.

Permanent Activity: Any activity expected to disturb bald eagles during two or more nesting seasons.

Reproductive Success: The number of fledglings produced annually by a bald eagle pair. Compare with Breeding Productivity.

Scientific Collection Permit: A permit issued for activities that include salvage, voucher, bird banding, wildlife possession, or special purpose. Applications must demonstrate a scientific or educational benefit for bald eagles, and must identify the purpose, scope, objective, methodology, location, and duration of the project.

Similar scope: A measure comparing activities near bald eagle nests. An existing activity near a bald eagle nest is of similar scope to a proposed activity, when the project is similar in nature, size, and use.
 
Site Work: Construction activities such as land clearing or road building that precede construction of homes or other building.

Successful Nest: A bald eagle nest that produces at least one fledgling.

"Take" (as defined in 68A-1.004 F.A.C.): "Taking, attempting to take, pursuing, hunting, molesting, capturing, or killing any wildlife or freshwater fish, or their nests or eggs by any means whether or not such actions result in obtaining possession of such wildlife or freshwater fish or their nests or eggs."

Temporary Activity: 1) Outside the nesting season: any activity that will leave no permanent structure or have any permanent effect. 2) During the nesting season: any activity expected to disturb bald eagles during only one nesting season.

Unknown Nest: A bald eagle nest that was surveyed (usually only once) during the current or most recent nesting season, but that its status could not be determined.

U.S.C.: United States Code.

USFWS: The United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the federal agency mandated to protect and manage the nation's native wildlife resources.



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