The bald eagle was once on the brink of extinction, but thanks to conservation efforts, it is now thriving. As a result of these conservation efforts, the bald eagle population has rebounded from a low of just 417 nesting pairs in 1963 to more than 71,400 nesting pairs today. The bald eagle is now considered to be a recovered species, but conservation efforts are still important to ensure that the species continues to thrive.
Here are some of the ways that conservation has saved and continues to save the bald eagle:
- The banning of DDT: DDT was a pesticide that was widely used in the mid-20th century. It caused the eggshells of bald eagles to become thin and brittle, which made it difficult for them to reproduce. The banning of DDT in the United States in 1972 was a major turning point in the recovery of the bald eagle.
- Captive breeding programs: Captive breeding programs have been used to help the bald eagle population recover. In these programs, bald eagles are raised in captivity and then released back into the wild. This has helped to increase the number of bald eagles in the wild.
- Habitat protection: Bald eagles need a variety of habitats, including wetlands, forests, and rivers. Conservation efforts have helped to protect these habitats, which has benefited the bald eagle population.
- Education and outreach: Education and outreach programs have helped to raise awareness of the plight of the bald eagle and the importance of conservation. These programs have helped to change public attitudes towards bald eagles, which has made it easier to protect them.
- Reduced use of pesticides: Pesticides can still harm bald eagles, even though DDT is no longer used. We can reduce our use of pesticides by choosing non-toxic pest control methods.
What is the biggest thing you can do to help?
- Support conservation organizations: There are many organizations that are working to conserve the bald eagle. We can help by supporting these organizations with our time, money, or volunteer work.