“Eagles aren't going away,” Watts says. Once DDT was banned and the species was fully protected under the fledgling Endangered Species Act, however, eagle numbers began to rebound, gradually at first and then with increasing vigor. Habitat protection afforded by the Endangered Species Act, the federal government’s banning of DDT, and conservation actions taken by the American public have helped Bald Eagles make a remarkable recovery. That's a conservative management objective — not only are we not going to let them go extinct, we're going to try and maintain populations at at least the size they are now.”, Interior Secretary Dick Kempthorne announces the Bald Eagle's delisting at a ceremony on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C., in 2007. However, as populations have grown, more and more individuals have moved into upland areas where the hunting of deer and other large animals is common. It began with the passage of the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act in 1918. This information is used to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. News and Perspectives on Bird Conservation. Immature Bald Eagle with lead poisoning by Marge Gibson. When it does, it may be due to the species naturally hitting its carrying capacity — a term used in ecology to define the maximum population size a region's resources can sustainably support. Our national emblem was back. Developed in the 1940s, DDT — short for dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane — was one of the first synthetic insecticides. The North American Breeding Bird Survey, overseen by the U.S. Geological Survey and their counterparts in Canada, dispatches skilled volunteers to count birds along set routes across the continent during the breeding season each spring. Black-and-White Warbler, Dennis W. Donohue/Shutterstock. Although they hunt fish and other prey, Bald Eagles are also frequent scavengers, and a gut pile left behind by a game hunter represents a tempting meal. The Bald Eagle is usually quite sensitive to human activity while nesting, and is found most commonly in areas with minimal human disturbance. And a decade later, where does the species stand? The Fish and Wildlife Service proposed “delisting” the Bald Eagle in 1999, based on the fact that recovery goals for all regions of the country had largely been met a decade before — and populations were still on the rise. So says Bryan Watts, Director of Virginia's Center for Conservation Biology and a professor at the College of William and Mary, who studies Bald Eagles of the Chesapeake Bay region. Our national emblem was back. It was one of the first species to be declared endangered. No one wants to see an eagle killed by human activity. In 2007, the bald eagle population in the United States reached a level that brought it down from the \"endangered\" list to the \"threatened\" list, so scientists are hopeful for the growth of the species. DDT, a synthetic pesticide, was … The Bald Eagle is an Endangered Species Act success story. Bald Eagles live near rivers, lakes, and marshes where they can find fish, their staple food. The eagle population boom will almost certainly flatten out eventually. (The eagle population in Alaska had remained healthy, and was never in need of listing.) The 2016 data showed a 5 percent annual increase in Bald Eagle numbers across the continent. The birds travel great distances but usually return to breeding grounds within 100 miles of the place where they were raised. Legal protection of Bald Eagles themselves proceeded in a more piecemeal fashion. But even that single estimate showed a further substantial increase in the population since delisting two years before: Bald Eagles were estimated to number more than 72,000 individuals in the lower 48 states, and nearly 143,000 including Alaska. Bald and Golden eagles are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act  (MBTA) and the Bald and Golden Eagle Act ( Eagle Act). Habitat protection afforded by the Endangered Species Act, the federal … Celebrating National Native American Heritage Month, Meeting Notice: Service Migratory Bird Regulations Committee, Delaware Artist Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest, Migratory Bird Treaty Act Protected Species (10.13 List), Information for Planning and Conservation System, Other Bird Data and Information Resources, Partners in Flight North American Landbird Conservation Plan, Bird Conservation Partnerships & Initiatives, Council for the Conservation of Migratory Birds, North American Bird Conservation Initiative, North American Wetlands Conservation Council, Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act, Duck Stamp Information for Birders & Photographers, Duck Stamp Information for Stamp Collectors, Duck Stamp Design Products & Licensing Program, Migratory Bird Hunting & Conservation Stamp Act.