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Todd E. Katzner

Todd E. Katzner


Ph.D. 2003, Arizona State University
M.S. 1994, University of Wyoming
B.A. 1991, Oberlin College

Research Assistant Professor, West Virginia University
Division of Forestry and Natural Resources  PO Box 6125, West Virginia University
Morgantown,  WV  26506-6125  United States
Phone: skype: tkatzner
Email: todd.katzner@mail.wvu.edu

   Research Interests

My research interests focus on the interactions among animals, people, the environment we share, and human social structures. Although most of my studies are of the ecology and demography of birds, my interests extend beyond ornithology, and I have published on a variety of topics, including mammalian ecology and physiology, invertebrate parasitoid ecology and taxonomy, and the interplay between human social behavior and conservation of natural resources.

Since 1997 I've conducted research on the ecology and conservation of eagles at a nature reserve in north-central Kazakhstan. This project started as an ecological study of the coexistence of the four species of large eagles that live at the reserve. In recent years it has morphed into a conservation and demographics study, and involves both mathematical modeling of eagle populations and cutting edge conservation genetics for non-invasive monitoring of these rare species.

In 2000 I began to study vultures in Kazakhstan to understand which species were present and at what densities they occurred in the southeast part of the country. This information is important because of the astonishingly rapid decline in vulture populations in south Asia. This research has been supported by mathematical modeling and a novel application of the non-invasive monitoring techniques we developed for the eagles in northern Kazakhstan. We are also applying these techniques to estimate population size of vultures in Cambodia.

Since coming to the National Aviary, I have initiated projects in the Philippines and in Pennsylvania. In the Philippines I am working with the Philippine Eagle Foundation to develop research and conservation strategies for protection of the Philippine Eagle - one of the world's most endangered birds. In Pennsylvania we are studying the potential impacts of the development of wind power on migratory golden eagles and other birds of prey. In both cases these projects are driven by our departmental mission to focus on the role of human population expansion and resource consumption on the environment.

Species of Interest: 
  • Lammergeier
  • Griffon Vulture
  • White-rumped Vulture
  • Himalayan Vulture
  • Cinereous Vulture
  • White-tailed Eagle
  • Eastern Imperial Eagle
  • Steppe Eagle
  • Golden Eagle
  • American Kestrel


Katzner, T.E., E.A. Bragin, A.E. Bragin, M. McGrady, Miller, T.A. and K.L. Bildstein. 2016. Unusual clockwise loop migration lengthens travel distances and increases potential risks for a central Asian, long distance, trans-equatorial migrant, the Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus. Bird Study 63(3):406-412.

Mallon, J.M., K.L. Bildstein, and T.E. Katzner. 2016. In-flight turbulence benefits soaring birds. Auk 133(1):79-85.

Duerr, A.E., T.A. Miller, M. Lanzone, D. Brandes, J. Cooper, K. O'Malley, C. Maisonneuve, J. Tremblay, and T. Katzner. 2012. Testing an emerging paradigm in migration ecology shows surprising differences in efficiency between flight modes. PLoS ONE 7(4):E35548.       pdf

Katzner,T., B. Smith, T.A. Miller, D. Brandes, J. Cooper, M. Lanzone, D. Brauning, C. Farmer, S. Harding, D.E. Kramar, C. Koppie, C. Maisonneuve, M. Martell, E.R. Mojica, C. Todd, J.A. Tremblay, M. Wheeler, D.F. Brinker, T.E. Chubbs, R. Gubler, K. O'Malley, S. Mehus, B. Porter, R.P. Brooks, B.D. Watts, and K.L. Bildstein. 2012. Status, biology, and conservation priorities for North America's eastern Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) population. Auk 129:168-176.

Katzner, T.E., M. Wheeler, J.J. Negro, Y. Kapetanakos, J.A. DeWoody, M. Horvath, and I. Lovette. 2012. To pluck or not to pluck: scientific methodologies should be carefully chosen, not one size fits all. Journal of Avian Biology 43(1):15-17. DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-048X.2011.05592.x

Katzner, T.. 2010. (Abstract) Marking and tracking methods for birds of prey: why do it and what options are available. P. 102 in G. Sundev, R. Watson, M. Curti, R. Yosef, E. Potapov, and M. Gilbert (eds.). Asian raptors: science and conservation for present and future: The proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Asian Raptors. Asian Raptor Research and Conservation Network, Mongolian Ornithological Society, and National University of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

Katzner, T.. 2010. (Abstract) High frequency GPS-GSM telemetry for study of movement ecology of raptors. P. 103 in G. Sundev, R. Watson, M. Curti, R. Yosef, E. Potapov, and M. Gilbert (eds.). Asian raptors: science and conservation for present and future: The proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Asian Raptors. Asian Raptor Research and Conservation Network, Mongolian Ornithological Society, and National University of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

Pettorelli, N., T. Katzner, I. Gordon, T. Garner, K. Mock, S. Redpath and M. Gompper. 2009. Possible consequences of the Copenhagen climate change meeting for conservation of animals. Animal Conservation 12: 503–504.       pdf

Poulakakis, N., A. Antoniou, G. Mantziou, A. Parmakelis, T. Skartsi, D. Vasilakis, J. Elorriaga, J. de la Puente, A. Gavashelishvili, M. Ghasabyan, T. Katzner, M. McGrady, N. Batbayar, M. Fuller, and T. Natsagdorj. 2008. Population structure, diversity, and phylogeography in the near-threatened Eurasian Black Vultures Aegypius monachus (Falconiformes: Accipitridae) in Europe: insights from microsatellite and mitochondrial DNA variation. 95:859-872.

Rudnick, J.A., T.E. Katzner, and J.A. DeWoody. 2009. Genetic analyses of noninvasively collected feathers can provide insights into avian demography and behavior. Pp. 181-197 in J.B. Aronoff (ed.), Handbook of nature conservation: global, environmental and economic issues. Nova Science Publishers, Hauppauge, NY.       pdf

Rudnick, J.A., T.E. Katzner, E.A. Bragin, and J.A. Dewoody. 2008. A non-invasive genetic evaluation of population size, natal philopatry, and roosting behavior of non-breeding Eastern Imperial Eagles (Aquila heliaca) in central Asia. Conservation Genetics 9:667-676.       pdf

Kenward, R., T. Katzner, M. Wink, V. Marcström, S. Walls, M. Karlbom, R. Pfeffer, E. Bragin, K. Hodder, and A. Levin. 2007. Rapid sustainability modeling for raptors by radiotagging and DNA-fingerprinting. Journal of Wildlife Management 71:238-245.       pdf

Rudnick, J.A., T.E. Katzner, E.A. Bragin, and A. DeWoody. 2007. Species identification of birds through genetic analysis of naturally shed feathers. Molecular Ecology Notes doi:10.1111/j.1471-8286.2007.01796.x1-6.       pdf

Ryabtsev, V.V., and T.E. Katzner. 2007. Severe declines of Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca populations in the Baikal region, Russia: a modern and historical perspective. Bird Conservation International 17:197-209.       pdf

Katzner, T.E., E.A. Bragin, S.T. Knick, and A.T. Smith. 2006. Spatial structure in the diet of Imperial Eagles Aquila heliaca in Kazakhstan. Journal of Avian Biology 37:594-600.       pdf

Katzner, T., E. Bragin, and E.J. Milner-Gulland. 2006. Modelling populations of long-lived birds of prey for conservation: a study of Imperial Eagles (Aquila heliaca) in Kazakhstan. Biological Conservation 132:322-335.        pdf

Katzner, T., E.J. Milner-Gulland and E. Bragin. 2006. Using modeling to improve monitoring of structured populations: are we collecting the right data? Conservation Biology 21:241-252.       pdf

Busch, J.D., T.E. Katzner, E. Bragin, and P. Keim. 2005. Tetranucleotide microstatellites for Aquila and Haliaeetus eagles. Molecular Ecology Notes 5:39-41.       pdf

Katzner, T. 2005. Corruption - a double-edged sword for conservation? A response to Smith and Walpole. Oryx: 39:260-262.       pdf

Katzner, T.E., E.A. Bragin, and A.T. Smith. 2005. Relationship between demographics and diet specificity of Imperial Eagles Aquila heliaca in Kazakhstan. Ibis 147:76-586.       pdf

Katzner, T., S. Robertson, B. Robertson, J. Klucsarits, K. McCarty, and K. Bildstein. 2005. Results from a long-term nest-box program for American Kestrels: implications for improved population monitoring and conservation. Journal of Field Ornithology 76:217-226.       pdf

Rudnick, J.A., T.E. Katzner, and J.A. Dewoody. 2005. Using naturally shed feathers for individual identification, genetic parentage analyses, and population monitoring in an endangered Eastern Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca) population from Kazakhstan. Molecular Ecology 14:959-2967.       pdf

Bragin, E., and T. Katzner. 2004. Long-term population trends and nesting success of Imperial Eagle, Golden Eagle, and White-tailed Sea Eagle in north-west Kazakhstan in 1990-2002. Pp. 551-556 in R.D. Chancellor and B.-U. Meyburg (eds.), Raptors worldwide. World Working Group on Birds of Prey, Berlin, and MME-BirdLife Hungary, Budapest.

Katzner, T., A. Gavashelishvili, S. Sklyarenko, M. McGrady, J. Shergalin, and K. Bildstein. 2004. Population and conservation status of Griffon Vultures in the former Soviet Union. Pp. 235-240 in R.D. Chancellor and B.-U. Meyburg (eds.), Raptors worldwide. World Working Group on Birds of Prey, Berlin, and MME-BirdLife Hungary, Budapest.

Katzner, T.E., C.H. Lai, J.D. Gardner, J.M. Foggin, D. Pearson, and A.T. Smith. 2004. Adjacent nesting by Lammergeier Gypaetus barbatus and Himalayan Griffon Gyps himalayensis on the Tibetan Plateau, China. Forktail 20:94-96.       pdf

Leppert, L.L., S. Layman, E.A. Bragin, and T. Katzner. 2004. Survey for hemoparasites in Imperial Eagles (Aquila heliaca), Steppe Eagles (Aquila nipalensis), and White-tailed Sea Eagles (Haliaeetus albicilla) from Kazakhstan. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 40:316-319.       pdf

Katzner, T.E., E.A. Bragin, S.T. Knick, and A.T. Smith. 2003. Coexistence in a multispecies assemblage of eagles in central Asia. Condor 105:538-551.

Pain, D.J., A.A. Cunningham, P. F. Donald, J. W. Duckworth, D. C. Houston, T. Katzner, J. Parry-Jones, C. Poole, V. Prakash, P. Round, and R. Timmins. 2003. Causes and effects of temporospatial declines of Gyps vultures in Asia. Conservation Biology 17:661-671.

Sharkov, A., T.E. Katzner, and T.M. Bragina. 2003. A new species of Copidosoma Ratzeburg (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae) from eagle nests in Kazakhstan. Journal of Hymenoptera Research 12:308-311.        pdf

Katzner, T.E. 2002. Ecology and behavior of coexisting eagle species at Naurzum Zapovednik, Kazakhstan. Ph.D. dissertation, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ.

Katzner, T., and J. Parry-Jones. 2002. Workshop entitled "Conservation of Gyps vultures in Asia", held at the North American Ornithological Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, September 2002. Vulture News 47:64-65.

Katzner, T., and J. Parry-Jones. 2001. Reports from the workshop on Indian Gyps vultures, 4th Eurasian Congress on Raptors. Estación Biológica Donaña/Raptor Research Foundation, Seville, Spain.

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