WASHINGTON (AP) — The variety of American bald eagles has quadrupled since 2009, with greater than 300,000 birds hovering over the decrease 48 states, authorities scientists mentioned.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service mentioned bald eagles, the nationwide image that when teetered on the point of extinction, have flourished in recent times, rising to greater than 71,400 nesting pairs and an estimated 316,700 particular person birds.
Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, in her first public look since being sworn in final week, hailed the eagle’s restoration and famous that the majestic, white-headed fowl has all the time been thought of sacred to Native American tribes and the United States usually.
“The strong return of this treasured bird reminds us of our nation’s shared resilience and the importance of being responsible stewards of our lands and waters that bind us together,” mentioned Haaland, the primary Native American Cabinet secretary.
Bald eagles reached an all-time low of 417 recognized nesting pairs in 1963 within the decrease 48 states. But after a long time of safety, together with banning the pesticide DDT and placement of the eagle on the endangered species checklist in additional than 40 states, the bald eagle inhabitants has continued to develop. The bald eagle was faraway from the checklist of threatened or endangered species in 2007.
“It is clear that the bald eagle population continues to thrive,” Haaland mentioned, calling the fowl’s restoration a “success story (that) is a testament to the enduring importance of the work of the Interior Department scientists and conservationists. This work could not have been done without teams of people collecting and analyzing decades’ worth of science … accurately estimating the bald eagle population here in the United States.”
The celebration of the bald eagle “is also a moment to reflect on the importance of the Endangered Species Act, a vital tool in the efforts to protect America’s wildlife,” Haaland mentioned, calling the landmark 1973 regulation essential to stopping the extinction of species such because the bald eagle or American bison.
Reiterating a pledge by President Joe Biden, Haaland mentioned her division will overview actions by the Trump administration “to undermine key provisions” of the endangered species regulation. She
didn’t supply specifics, however environmental teams and Democratic lawmakers criticized the Trump administration for a variety of actions, together with decreasing important habitat for the northern noticed owl and lifting protections for grey wolves.
“We will be taking a closer look at all of those revisions and considering what steps to take to ensure that all of us — states, Indian tribes, private landowners and federal agencies — have the tools we need to conserve America’s natural heritage and strengthen our economy,” Haaland mentioned.
“We have an obligation to do so because future generations must also experience our beautiful outdoors, the way many of us have been blessed,” she added.
Martha Williams, deputy director of the Fish and Wildlife Service, referred to as restoration of the bald eagle “one of the most remarkable conservation success stories of all time” and mentioned she hopes all Americans get the prospect to see a bald eagle in flight.
“They’re magnificent to see,” she mentioned.
To estimate the bald eagle inhabitants within the decrease 48 states, Fish and Wildlife Service biologists and observers carried out aerial surveys over a two-year interval in 2018 and 2019. The company additionally labored with the Cornell University Lab of Ornithology to accumulate data on areas that weren’t sensible to fly over as a part of aerial surveys.
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