Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Environmental Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Gregory C. Garman


GIS (Geographic Information Systems) and remote sensing techniques were used to predict relationships between bald eagle nest presences and land type, distance to land type and impervious surface cover area. Data plots revealed bald eagle nest presence decreases in response to an increase in area of bareland; increases with an increase in area of forested land; decreases with an increase in distance (m) to shoreline, and decreases in response to an increase in area of impervious surfaces. Logistic regression models identified impervious surfaces as an indicator for bald eagle nest presence (P 24% as unsuitable. Unsuitable area covered 17.82% of the total study area, impacted area covered 13.40%, and, sensitive area covered 68.77%. The projected increase in population in the state of Virginia and subsequent increase in impervious surfaces presents a challenge to the future viability of the Virginia Chesapeake Bay bald eagle population. The threshold analysis identified areas of prime conservation concern for bald eagle nest presence within the defined study area. These areas provide the basis for a conservation management plan and for further scientific study.


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VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

June 2008