Baby Bald Eagles 

In the 1960s, there were fewer than 500 breeding pairs of bald eagles in the lower 48 states. That’s why this symbolic bird was placed under the protection of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1978. Today, eagle numbers are estimated at 7,066 pairs. What a comeback! In fact, this is one of the greatest wildlife success stories of the last 25 years! It means the Act is working the way it was intended.

Because of these encouraging results, the Department of the Interior (DOI) is expected to remove the bald eagle from the endangered species list this June. National Wildlife Federation supports the delisting of the bald eagle…

…but we have one major concern.

The Act requires that before the bald eagle is de-listed, the DOI must ensure a plan is in place to prevent the bald eagle population from backsliding. But incredibly, just the reverse is true. Biologists say the government’s plans for protecting more than 14,000 bald eagles after they leave the list are inadequate (click here for more information).

After years of successful work by so many dedicated scientists and volunteers to save the bald eagle, critical safeguards would now be forgotten and trashed. And developers would ride rough-shod over the bald eagles’ essential nesting sites…and the downward trend would start all over again. What a tragedy this would be!