The young eagles are flying within three months and are on their own about a month later. However, disease, lack of food, bad weather, or human interference can kill many eaglets.
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Recent studies show that approximately 70 percent survive their first year of life. When America adopted the bald eagle as the national symbol in , the country may have had as many as , nesting eagles.
Philippine Eagle: an Endangered Species
Although they primarily eat fish and carrion, bald eagles used to be considered marauders that preyed on chickens, lambs, and domestic livestock. Consequently, the large raptors were shot in an effort to eliminate a perceived threat. Coupled with the loss of nesting habitat, bald eagle populations declined. A amendment added the golden eagle, and the law became the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. However, DDT and its residues washed into nearby waterways, where aquatic plants and fish absorbed it.
Bald eagles, in turn, were poisoned with DDT when they ate the contaminated fish. The chemical interfered with the ability of the birds to produce strong eggshells. As a result, their eggs had shells so thin that they often broke during incubation or otherwise failed to hatch. DDT also affected other species such as peregrine falcons and brown pelicans. In addition to the adverse effects of DDT, some bald eagles have died from lead poisoning after feeding on waterfowl containing lead shot, either as a result of hunting or from inadvertent ingestion.
By , with only nesting pairs of bald eagles remaining, the species was in danger of extinction. Loss of habitat, shooting, and DDT poisoning contributed to the near demise of our national symbol.
Bald eagles soaring back from the brink of extinction
That was in , and it was the first step on the road to recovery for the bald eagle. In , the Secretary of Interior listed bald eagles south of the 40th parallel under the Endangered Species Preservation Act of Following enactment of the Endangered Species Act of , the Service listed the species in as endangered throughout the lower 48 states, except in Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin where it was designated as threatened.
The species was not listed as threatened or endangered in Hawaii because it does not occur there, or in Alaska because populations there have remained robust. Listing the species as endangered provided the springboard for the Service and its partners to accelerate the pace of recovery through captive breeding programs, reintroduction efforts, law enforcement, and nest site protection during the breeding season.
In July , the Service announced that bald eagles in the lower 48 states had recovered to the point where those populations previously considered endangered were now considered threatened. In July , the Service proposed to remove the bald eagle from the list of threatened and endangered species. Since then, the Service has reviewed comments received on that proposal along with new data and information to determine the best ways to manage the species once it is removed from the protections of the Endangered Species Act. In , the Service re-opened the public comment period due to new information on the proposal to delist.
Data gathered during this comment period was factored into a final decision on the status of the species. Based on the most recent population figures, the Service estimates that there are at least 9, nesting pairs of bald eagles in the contiguous United States. Bald eagles have staged a remarkable population rebound and have recovered to the point that they no longer need the protection of the Endangered Species Act.
Go The Extra Mile For Birds
Although the Service removed the bald eagle from the list of threatened and endangered species under the Endangered Species Act, the bird will still be protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. The natural migratory flock still migrates from Canada to Texas each year. A non-migratory flock was established in Florida and now numbers more than 20 birds.
Today, it is found in just a few states, and then in only a few places. However, these turtles face a challenge every year when they head upland to lay their eggs. The upland breeding areas are now separated from their backwater habitat by a highway. Road kill is a major threat and those that do lay eggs may face danger on their return to the river. Turtle eggs are left unattended by parents and are vulnerable to scavengers such as skunks and raccoons.
They burrow into sand and gravel at the river bottom, opening their shell to siphon for food. Brought to US waterways in ballast water from international shipping, zebra mussels colonize any available hard surface, including the shell of other mussels. Zebra mussels now infest many Minnesota lakes and rivers. Citizens can help many native species by following rules established for recreation on lakes and rivers to prevent the spread of this and other invasive and harmful species.
Monarch Butterfly Danaus plexippus Monarch butterflies begin life as eggs which the adults lay on milkweed plants. When the eggs hatch as larvae they eat their eggshells and, subsequently, feed on the milkweed plants. Monarchs appear to lay their eggs exclusively on milkweed. Once common near agricultural fields and surrounding areas across the Midwest, milkweed is now in steep decline.
Mowing of roadside ditches has sharply limited the amount of available milkweed. Endangered Species. Endangered Species Ed Hahn.