According to eagle experts in the United States, the bald eagle population is thriving at levels not likely seen before. The ban of pesticides is definitely the main reason of the iconic birds recovery.
The official numbers show a total of 1,070 occupied bald eagle nests. The count is part of the Center for Conservation Biology at the College of William and Mary survey, started six decades ago. Ever since, this is the first time when more than 1,000 nests have been counted.
A remarkable comeback thinking that back in 1970, there were less than 30 pairs of bald eagles in Virginia. All thanks a nationwide recovery and to the tireless efforts of the Center for Conservation Biology, who over those years, hardly tried to help at their conservation with the habitat preservation and the banning of some pesticides. They also tried to raise awareness among public population, regarding the eagles importance on the ecosystems.
“Since the late 1970s, Virginia’s breeding population has made a dramatic recovery from less than 30 to more than 730 breeding pairs,” the center’s official site reads. “The truth is, you have to go back to colonial times, likely to see numbers like we see today,” Bryan D. Watts, the center’s director told the AP.
Even if it’s hard to believe, the national bird was actually the first bird species in the US included on the Endangered Species List. That happened four decades ago, back in 1967. It took exactly 40 years for the bald eagle to be taken off that list. But the species, once decimated by DDT and other pollutants have now made a fully recovery. There are more than 10,000 nesting pairs all over the country, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Mitchel Byrd is a retired professor who has been witnessed to this incredible recovery. Mr Byrd has been doing the Virginia survey for the last decades and he said he never thought things will ever look so great for the legendary bird. “It’s indicative of what we as a species can do, if we set our minds to it,” the professor said.
Maybe we should all learn something out of this. And we would try to protect this majestic, yet almost extinct bird!