When bald eagles were removed from the federal list of threatened and endangered species in June of 2007, the action was both a conservation milestone and the beginning of a social experiment.
Recovery of the bald eagle population is arguably the greatest conservation success story in our nation’s history and a testament to wildlife law. However, pulling the population out from under the big stick of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for the first time in nearly 40 years comes with an uncertain amount of risk.
Within the Chesapeake Bay, 75% of all bald eagle pairs nest on private lands suggesting that the future of the population resides with the public. How private landowners would respond to the removal of ESA protections in the post-delisting era has been an open question of interest to the conservation community...
...The recent increase in cutting of nest trees may reflect a broader public misconception that nests are no longer protected following their delisting. We, the conservation community, need to be more effective in communicating landowner responsibilities under federal law.
Written by Bryan Watts | firstname.lastname@example.org | (757) 221-2247