Loading...

America’s Bald Eagle Population Continues to Soar

March 25, 2021 by TWN Staff
An American Bald Eagle.

Populations of the American bald eagle — the bold national symbol of the United States — have quadrupled since 2009, according to a new report by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and its partners.

Bald eagles once teetered on the brink of extinction, reaching an all-time low of 417 known nesting pairs in 1963 in the lower 48 states.

However, after decades of protection, the banning of the pesticide DDT, and conservation efforts with numerous partners, the bald eagle population has flourished, growing to more than 71,400 nesting pairs.

According to scientists from the Service’s Migratory Bird Program, the bald eagle population climbed to an estimated 316,700 individual bald eagles in the lower 48 states. This indicates the bald eagle population has continued to increase rapidly since the previous survey.

The information is now available in the new technical report: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Final Report: Bald Eagle Population Size: 2020 Update.

“Today’s announcement is truly a historic conservation success story. Announcements like ours today give me hope. I believe that we have the opportunity of a lifetime to protect our environment and our way of life for generations to come. But we will only accomplish great things if we work together,” said Interior Secretary Deb Haaland.

“The recovery of the bald eagle is one of the most well-known conservation success stories of all time,” said Service Principal Deputy Director Martha Williams. “The Service continues to work with our partners in state and federal agencies, tribes, non-government organizations and with private landowners to ensure that our nation’s symbol continues to flourish.”

To estimate the bald eagle population in the lower 48 states, Migratory Bird Program pilot biologists and observers from many Service regions, programs and contract observers conducted aerial surveys over a two-year period in 2018 and 2019.

The Service flew aerial surveys over high-density eagle nesting areas to generate accurate estimates and count occupied nesting territories. To obtain information on the lower density eagle nesting areas, the agency worked with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to use eBird relative abundance data to acquire information on the areas that were not practical to fly as part of our aerial surveys.

“Working with Cornell to integrate data from our aerial surveys with eBird relative abundance data on bald eagles is one of the most impressive ways the Service has engaged with citizen science programs to date,” said Jerome Ford, service assistant director for the agency’s Migratory Bird Program. “This critical information was imperative to accurately estimate the bald eagle population in the contiguous United States, and we look forward to working with Cornell in the future.”

Based on those two major sets of data for this population estimate, the Service next created an integrated population model to expand the estimates of the number of occupied nests across the plot area to estimates of the entire population in the lower 48 states. Information on survival rates, productivity and breeding rates provided the information needed to make this conclusion.

In The News

Health

Voting

Environment

June 24, 2022
by Kate Michael
‘DAC Day’ Pushes for Sustainable Business Models in New Carbon Removal Industry

WASHINGTON — The 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act provided funding not only for roads, bridges, and efforts to curb... Read More

WASHINGTON — The 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act provided funding not only for roads, bridges, and efforts to curb future pollution, but the bill also made money available for lesser-known innovative technology projects that speak to the harm humans have already done to the environment. ... Read More

June 21, 2022
by Kate Michael
Canada Passes Single-Use Plastics Ban

OTTAWA, Ontario — After several years of work toward the goal, Canada is officially moving forward on a plan to... Read More

OTTAWA, Ontario — After several years of work toward the goal, Canada is officially moving forward on a plan to ban the use, manufacture, import, and eventual export of single-use plastics. "We promised Canadians we would deliver a ban on single-use plastics. … That’s exactly what... Read More

Monterrey Suffers Weekslong Water Cutoff Amid Drought

MONTERREY, Mexico (AP) — The industrial hub of Monterrey has long been one of Mexico’s most prosperous cities, so its... Read More

MONTERREY, Mexico (AP) — The industrial hub of Monterrey has long been one of Mexico’s most prosperous cities, so its almost 5 million residents were shocked when they lost the most basic of services: water. A combination of an intense drought, poor planning and high water... Read More

June 16, 2022
by Eden Metzger
America’s Wildlife Would Benefit From Historic Conservation Bill

WASHINGTON — With the passage of a historic conservation bill this week, the U.S. House committed over $2 billion to... Read More

WASHINGTON — With the passage of a historic conservation bill this week, the U.S. House committed over $2 billion to restoring habitats and potentially saving scores of species from extinction. In addition to being a watershed moment for the conservation movement, the 231-190 vote in favor... Read More

Floods Leave Yellowstone Landscape 'Dramatically Changed'

RED LODGE, Mont. (AP) — The forces of fire and ice shaped Yellowstone National Park over thousands of years. It... Read More

RED LODGE, Mont. (AP) — The forces of fire and ice shaped Yellowstone National Park over thousands of years. It took decades longer for humans to tame it enough for tourists to visit, often from the comfort of their cars. In just days, heavy rain and... Read More

June 10, 2022
by Tom Ramstack
California Utility Pleads Not Guilty to Manslaughter in Deadly Wildfire

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Pacific Gas & Electric pleaded not guilty Thursday to felony involuntary manslaughter charges after a Northern California... Read More

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Pacific Gas & Electric pleaded not guilty Thursday to felony involuntary manslaughter charges after a Northern California fire caused by its electrical transmission lines burned 87 square miles of land and killed four residents. Prosecutors acknowledge criminal charges are unusual against a public... Read More

News From The Well