Jean Fitts Cochrane, Eric Lonsdorf, Taber D. Allison, and Carol A. Sanders-Reed. 2015. Modeling with uncertain science: estimating mitigation credits from abating lead poisoning in Golden Eagles. Ecological Applications 25:15181533.


Matlab model code and data.
Ecological Archives A025-092-S1.


File list (downloads)


Jean Fitts Cochrane
American Wind Wildlife Institute
Current Address:
29 Wood Mountain Road
Grand Marais, MN 55604

Eric Lonsdorf
Biology Department
Franklin and Marshall College
P.O. Box 3003, Lancaster, PA 17604-3003

Taber D. Allison
American Wind Wildlife Institute
1110 Vermont Ave. NW, Suite 950
Washington, DC 20005

Carol A. Sanders-Reed
American Wind Wildlife Institute
Current Address:
26 Meadow View Road
Sandia Park, NM 87047

File list

GELAM.m (MD5: 0b7829a3095eef051873e580609de32b)

Location2West.txt (MD5: 4ddcd8b65a095ace631d05ca597d125c)


The MATLAB (version R2010a, MathWorks) script GELAM.m runs a simulation model to estimate acute mortality of golden eagles due to ingesting lead from gut-piles of harvested big game animals and to assess possible mitigation strategies: non-lead ammunition and gut-pile retrieval. GELAM.m runs the simulation both at the state level, and for the Casper example.

Location2West.txt contains the data we used in the MATLAB simulations, with the following columns: (1) ID number (FID), (2) number of animals harvested, (3) golden eagle abundance in hunting unit, and (4) size of hunting unit in 100 km² blocks. Information was compiled from publicly available data for Wyoming’s 2012 big game harvest (Wyoming Game and Fish Department 2013, public communication: 2012 annual report of big and trophy game harvest. accessed 13 May 2014) and preliminary, unpublished estimates of late summer Golden Eagle abundance provided by Ryan Nielson (personal communication, Western EcoSystems Technology, Inc., Cheyenne, WY, February 2014).

The eagle density data are from ongoing work that may be revised, using methods reported in two publications:

Nielson, R. M. and H. Sawyer. 2013. Estimating resource selection with count data. Ecology and Evolution 3:2233–2240.

Neilson, R., L. McManus, T. Rintz, L. L. McDonald, R. K. Murphy, W. H. Howe, and R. E. Good. 2014. Monitoring abundance of golden eagles in the Western United States. Journal of Wildlife Management 78:721–730.