Predation Attempt by a Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) on a Pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) in Southeastern Alberta, Canada

Posted on Jan 27, 2015

Author

Paul F. JONES, Blair SEWARD, Jennifer L. BAKER, Brad A. DOWNEY

Correspondence: Alberta Conservation Association, #400, 817 – 4th Ave. S., Lethbridge, Alberta, T1J 0P3, Canada. Email: paul.jones@ab-conservation.com

Submitted 16 December 2014 – Accepted 27 January 2015


Abstract

Pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) is a native grassland species that shares its range with a number of sympatric predators including the golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos). This paper reports on the photographic documentation of a predation attempt by a female adult golden eagle on a female pronghorn fawn in southeastern Alberta, Canada. A series of images captured by our trail cameras show that the eagle inflicted significant wounds to the fawn’s side and rump, and based on circumstantial evidence, we believe the fawn succumbed to its injuries. Unique to this predation event is the role that a fence line played by either assisting the fawn to escape the eagle, or alternatively, helping the eagle in its predation attempt. Additional research is required to determine the level of predation by golden eagles on pronghorn, the timing of such events, and the hunting behaviour of eagles involved in such predation attempts.

Key Words: Camera Trap, Fence, Golden Eagle, Predation, Pronghorn.

 

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