The American Bald Eagle Is Back

The bald eagle, whose numbers had dipped dangerously, is now back from the brink of extinction. Today, thousands of American bald eagles fly the skies of the lower 48 states - a powerful symbol that shows the Endangered Species Act works.

But the Feds Won't Act:

This remarkable recovery should not go unnoticed. In May, Environmental Defense called on President George W. Bush to follow through on the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's (FWS) five-year-old promise to take the bald eagle off the endangered species list. The FWS is still dragging its feet and the bald eagle's dramatic comeback has yet to receive the government's stamp of approval. You can help. Sign the Eagle Pledge and urge President Bush to delist the bald eagle:


Bald Eagle's Decline and Recovery:

It's hard to imagine that we nearly lost our national symbol. The bald eagle's long decline began in the 19th century as forest clearing, other habitat loss and hunting sharply reduced eagle numbers. Following World War II, the pesticide DDT contaminated fish and other eagle prey. Female eagles laid eggs with shells too thin, which were often crushed by the parent bird, and the eagle's numbers plummeted. By 1963, only 417 pairs remained in the continental United States.

Today, nearly 8,000 pairs nest in the lower 48 states, and Americans can watch bald eagles at wildlife refuges, state parks, national parks, along coastlines, on private lands and in large winter flocks along waterways in almost every state -- thanks in large part to the Endangered Species Act.

Take Action! Sign the Eagle Pledge:

Sign the Eagle Pledge and urge President Bush to take the bald eagle off the endangered species list - a move that would mark the bald eagle's remarkable recovery and give Americans faith in our nation's conservation efforts.


On the Eagle's Tail...

Back from the Brink is a Environmental Defense campaign aimed at shining a spotlight on 15 endangered species that ordinary Americans can help bring back from the brink of extinction. Our commitment is to restore private land habitat in more than 20 states, working with ranchers, farmers and other private landowners, as well as scientists and wildlife experts.

Visit BackfromtheBrink.org to meet the 15 species and find out how you can help:


Take a look at Environmental Defense's report "The Eagle Is Back."



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August 2004

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