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Bald Eagle Making a Come Back in PA

PA's Game Commission is recommending dropping the bald eagle from the threatened species list.
THURMONT, MD - Distinguished by its white head and white tail feathers, the bald eagle is one of the ultimate symbols of America.

Now the bird is making a big come back after once being on the brink of extinction.

The bald eagle was taken off the National Endangered Species list in 2007 and several states followed that lead including MD, and now PA may now be taking the bald eagle off their list.

The bald eagle is still categorized as a "threatened species" in PA, which means a species likely to become endangered in the foreseeable future.

Now the state's Game Commission is recommending dropping the bird from the list.

"60 years of attempts to save an endangered species is actually working," says Callan Hahn, Catoctin Wildlife Preserve & Zoo. "It means the number of populations have come up to a sustainable level where they don't have to worry about them disappearing off the face of the planet anymore."

The US Fish and Wildlife Service says protection acts for the bald eagle have really paid off. Notably, banning of the pesticide DDT and habitat protection measures.

Richard Hahn, Global Wildlife Trust, says, "The ones that were breeding were producing eggs that were soft and didn't hatch, so although it didn't effect the birds themselves, DDT affected their eggs."

While the number of bald eagle nests have grown tremendously throughout the years, animal experts say it's still only about 30 percent of what it used to be in the 1800s.

Richard says, "People who are patriotic, they swell up when they see the American flag flying. They swell up when they see a bald eagle flying. I think it's a great thing."

For now wildlife officials are calling this one a victory for the bald eagle.

Bald eagles continue to be protected by numerous other acts including the federal Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. Anyone who harms an eagle faces jail time and fines up to $250,000.
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