The population of bald eagles seems to become finally more stable after the United States symbol was on the verge of extinction forty years ago.
In 1967, the bald eagles became protected under the Endangered Species Act. Only recently, in 2007, were they delisted. According to Brian D. Watts, the Center for Conservation Biology director at the College of William and Mary, 1,070 bald eagle nests have been recently counted.
This impressive number proves that the efforts of biologists and animal right activists have finally paid off. Watts underlined that this high number of nests was last registered in colonial times.
Nowadays, there are 143,000 bald eagles and 40,000 golden eagles throughout the United States. It means that more than 10,000 nesting pairs are living throughout the country. According to Mitchell Byrd, retired professor from Virginia, he has never seen so many bald eagles in 40 years of research.
Based on the latest survey, nesting pairs have been spotted in 12 cities and 57 counties from Virginia with the highest numbers in the areas around Rappahannock and Potomac rivers.
Watts stressed that the bald eagles population would most likely stop increasing. Bald eagles most often mate for life, but if one of the partners dies, other bird will take its place, which is a great thing.
However, wind farms are killing many birds every year, especially bald and golden eagles. Even if they were delisted from the Endangered Species Act, these two species are still protected, but no one has taken active measures against the companies that cause the death of so many birds annually.
Animal right activists, scientists, and many Americans are concerned with the fact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services has proposed an annual hunting season for bald and golden eagles. Right now, around 1,000 eagles are killed by hunters every year.
But if the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services proposal is approved, 6,000 bald eagles and 2,000 golden eagles will be hunted every year just for the sake of entertainment. The public will present its opinion by the end of July, and then the agency will decide whether the hunting season will be approved or not.
Many people regard this idea as an offense brought to bald eagles which are seen not just as birds, but as the symbol of the United States.
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