Local News

Local vet says Jordan Lake eagles in danger during controlled burns

Posted April 18, 2016 6:14 p.m. EDT
Updated April 18, 2016 11:17 p.m. EDT

— A local veterinarian has made it her personal mission to save the eagle population at Jordan Lake after state wildlife officials began scheduling controlled burns in the area.

Ellen Tinsley said the burn scheduled in the coming week could harm the birds and their babies.

"All along my biggest concern is how will the babies make it through here," she said.

Tinsley said the adult eagles can fly away, but the babies are too young. She's concerned the babies will attempt to leave the nest and fall to their deaths.

The veterinarian asked the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission to postpone the burn until May 15, when the babies would be more developed.

"If you could give these babies just a few weeks," she said. "We will get past the problems of smoke inhalation or jumping out."

But commissioner biologist Christ Baranski said postponing is not an option.

"Our burn season is going to be over," he said. "We burned today. We will burn for the next couple of days. I would say, by next week, our burn season is done."

Baranski said the controlled burns are necessary to prevent uncontrollable wildfires and maintain the habitat.

"For habitual development, and then maintenance after you achieve the right habitat," he said. "We are promoting the diversity of our species."

The commission takes extreme precaution to protect the eagles and their nests during the burns, according to Baranski. He said a burn conducted on Friday was done around a nest.

Tinsley said Friday's burn did not harm the eagles, but she is more concerned about the burn scheduled in the coming days.