In Conservation Success Story, Bald Eagle Numbers Have Soared

"The number of bald eagles — a species that once came dangerously close to extinction in the United States — has more than quadrupled over the last dozen years despite massive declines in overall bird populations, government scientists announced Tuesday.

A new survey by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found that since 2009, when the last count was taken, the number of eagles had soared to an estimated 316,700 in the lower 48 states. At the species’ lowest point in the 1960s, there were fewer than 500 nesting pairs in those states.

Though bald eagles have been steadily recovering, the latest figures surprised even scientists who study avian populations.

At a news conference Tuesday, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland celebrated the findings as evidence that species vulnerable to extinction can be rescued by government intervention, a departure from the Trump administration’s efforts to significantly weaken the Endangered Species Act."

Anna M. Phillips reports for the Los Angeles Times March 24, 2021.

Source: LA Times, 03/25/2021