Thursday, June 28, 2007

Bald eagle soars off endangered list

After being on the verge of extinction in 1967, the American bald eagle has officially been taken off the endangered species list today.

“Today, I am proud to announce the eagle has returned,” Interior Secretary Kirk Kempthorne said while making the announcement at Jefferson Memorial.

According to the AP article “Bald Eagle comes off endangered list,” in 1963, there were only about 417 mating pairs of bald eagles in the contiguous 49 states.

The powerful and majestic-looking creature had been decimated by DDT, a pesticide that was used to control mosquitoes and other insects. DDT residue contaminated rivers and other waterways, contaminating the fish that bald eagles would later ingest which would then poison and inevitably cause their death.

It was also “hunted for its feathers, shot from airplanes, the subject of a 50-cent bounty in Alaska… and fed to hogs in some states,” according to another AP article-“U.S. bald eagle numbers make recovery.” Loss of habitat also contributed to the bald eagle’s near demise.
Congress passed the Bald Eagle Protection Act in 1940 to prohibit the killing, selling or possessing of the regal bird. It was also listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act in 1967. But what the experts identify as the first and most important step in the eagle's path to recovery began when in 1972, the use of DDT was banned in the United States.

According to the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), there is now an estimated high of 9,879 breeding pairs, 1,133 of which are found in Florida.
  • To learn basic facts about the bald eagle (and even listen to some of the eagle's actual cries!), visit the American Eagle Foundation page.
  • To listen to an interview clip of National Bald Eagle Coordinator Jody Millar's discussion of "How bald eagles became endangered," click here.


Vincent said...

"For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral character. He does not get his Living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him." [Benjamin Franklin, Paris, 1784]

That's interesting! Benjamin would have chosen the Turquey instead for its courage! Let's interview these two little eaglets to better understand that choice... Well it seems like we might disturb!!! Fair enough, isn't it? Did they ever ask for anything?!
Shame on us with our pesticides and thank you Veronica for that deserved tribute to them! ;)

Jackie said...

It was sad to read the reasons why the bald eagle had been extinct so long but knowing that it's off the endangered list is incredible news. I'm glad that you wrote about this because there isn't a better person out there to have done it.

Abby said...

I'm glad that the Bald Eagles are off the endangred list.these birds are MAGNIFICENT!!!!!