Descriptions of landscape characteristics of Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) nesting territories and foraging areas in Alaska are generally broad and qualitative. To provide a basis for future studies on relationships between landscape characteristics and reproductive success, we described landscape characteristics within a 3000-m radius surrounding the geographic center of 36 Golden Eagle nesting territories in Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Within the 3000-m territory cores, we delineated 27 unique land-cover types based on 11 unique types of vegetation cover and structure within four terrestrial physiographic zones: Alpine, Upland, Lowland, and Riparian. Rugged terrain, alpine areas, and a mosaic of land-cover types including Alpine Low Shrub, Alpine Barren, Upland Low Shrub, Riparian Barren, and Riparian Shrub characterized most territory cores. Alpine was the most common physiographic zone, and low shrub was the most common land-cover type in territory cores (x = 68.5% area, 95% C.I. = 61.2–75.5%). Our results should be useful for monitoring responses of breeding Golden Eagles to future changes in this landscape.
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Vol. 40 • No. 1