Bald Eagles: Once Endangered But Now Revived On The East Coast

Bald Eagles were endangered just a few years ago, but were removed from the list in 2007 according to CNN, when evidence of young eagles souring the skies of Michigan was revealed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Now, just eight years later, the bald eagle revival has spread from the midwest to the east coast, and New Jersey appears to be a hot spot for bald eagle reproduction.

The Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey released their 2015 Bald Eagle report, which revealed the number of nesting bald eagle eggs in the state. This data was reportedly collected by biologists from both the CWF and the New Jersey Department of Enviromental Protection. The Executive Director at CWF, David Wheeler recently made a statement about their findings.

“With 161 pairs of bald eagles this past year — up from just a single nest in the early 1980s — the dramatic ongoing recovery of bald eagles across the northeast continues to inspire so many of us.”

The reemergence of bald eagles in the United States is a huge difference from what is was in the 60s and 80s, as Wheeler mentioned. In 1963, it was reported that only 487 nesting pairs remained in their 48 residing states. Their demise was caused by the increased use of pesticides in the country. In 1972, once some pesticides were banned, bald eagles began to revive. In 2006, it was reported that there were 10,000 pairs in the 48 residing states.

Even with the revival of bald eagles, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service still hold the responsibility of making sure no more bald eagles die at the hands of Americans. Currently, there is still protective legislation in place to keep bald eagles off of the endangered list. First, the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, established in 1940, prevents the selling or exportation of bald eagles and their eggs. It also outlaws, the killing, capturing or molestation of bald eagles. Second, the Migratory Bord Treaty Act, protects all birds as the freely fly across international borders. Countries included in the treaty are Japan, Canada, Mexico and Russia. Last, the Lacey Act of 1900, which served as the precursor of the protection act, outlaws the selling or exportation of bald eagles.

With all of the laws in place to protect bald eagles and other equally important birds, there’s no wonder how bald eagles have gone from almost extinct to a fully thriving species of bird. Though the government may be mainly concerned with the welfare to the species to prevent having to select a new national bird, most everyday people likely just want to see a bald eagle soar through American skies. Recently, on Twitter, people have expressed just what the bald eagle represents to them. The most popular word used when discussing the bald eagle is “freedom.”

In agreement with the importance of the bald eagle and it’s symbolism, David Wheeler of CWF in New Jersey recently stated that he considers the flight of the bald eagle to be the most thrilling and important aspect of their survival.

“The thrill of seeing a bald eagle fly across the sky is unparalleled. This report captures how these eagles are continuing their All-American return.”

[Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images]