American Bald Eagle: Endangered Species Act



American Bald Eagle

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American Bald Eagle
The bald eagle which is referred to as the Haliaeetus Leucocephalus is a unique bird in North America and an important symbol in the US. The bird is mostly found throughout a good portion of North America, from Canada and Alaska to the north of Mexico. Alaska has half the total number of 70,000 bald eagles in the world. When combined with the 20,000 in the British Columbia, it makes the Northern America have the highest number of the species. The reason for their flourish is because of the salmon fish for the birds in the area. Whether dying or dead, the salmon is an essential food source for the bald eagles. This is a sea or fish eagle belonging to one of the four broad members of Eagles and is family members to hawks, old-world vultures, and kites. They are differentiated from the other eagles by body characteristics that include a white head, tail, and neck, yellow feet, beak and legs, eyes that are pale yellow and back that is brackish brown. This type of an eagle was once in the list of the endangered species of birds but was delisted after a successful recovery process under the act on endangered species. The paper is meant to explore the effect of the endangered species act on the bald eagle (Buehler, 2000).
The act on endangered species (ESA) was signed in 1973 and provides for protection and conservation of threatened or endangered species throughout a significant portion or all of their range, and the conservation of the species dependable ecosystem. The ESA was formed to recover and protect species that are imperiled and their ecosystem and is administered by the fish and wildlife service of the US (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries service (NMFS). Under ESA a species gets listed as threatened or endangered, meaning that it is in the danger of getting extinction in the near future that is foreseeable. The eagle species first got the attention of the federal protection in 1940 after the Congress passed the act on bald eagle protection. It later got amended to take in the golden eagle, and it got changed to golden and bald eagle act of protection. The bald eagle family got protected by the treat Act for migratory birds in 1972 after Mexico and the US to do a supplement to the convention of migratory birds that had been signed in 1936. The bird migratory treaty act was a law that implements all the protection treaties of shared resources involving migratory birds signed by Canada, Mexico, the US, Russia, and Japan. In 1967, the bald eagles got on the list of endangered species under the preservation act of endangered species. The birds were later transferred to the threatened and endangered species that was under the act of endangered species in 1973.
The bald eagle recovery was a national effort whereby two very important factors contributed to the possibility change. Of these, the most critical was the ban by the federal government on DDT chemical use in America in 1972. The second was the addition of the birds to the list of the both the threatened and endangered species by the act of endangered species that very much reduced the bald eagle threats on its habitat involving the sites of nesting and roost sites of summer and winter. On top of this the state and federal agencies, private landowners, tribes and other local participants played the role of bald eagle population restoration through the protection and preservation of important habitats, monitoring the recovery of the species, conducting the extensive efforts on public education and reintroduction of the bald eagle back to the wild. The bald eagles are also protected by other two major federal laws. These include the golden and bald Eagle Protection Act (BGEPA) and treaty act on the migratory of birds (MBTA). In addition, the state governments also enact laws that are able to afford a bit more protection measures than the federal laws in the conservation of the wild life species. The bald eagles are protected by the law on endangered species of the state (ESA) (Goble, Scott, and Davis, 2006).

Under the MBTA, it is against the law to hunt, pursue, capture, kill, take, barter, import or export, sell, possess, offer to sell, purchase, transport of any golden and bald eagle dead or alive, including part, egg, nest unless permitted by the law. Take means to pursue, kill, shoot, wound, poison, shoot at, trap, capture disturb, molest or collect a bald or golden eagle. To disturb was described under the act as agitation or bother a golden or bald eagle to any degree as to cause or likely cause injury to the eagle, decrease in productivity through substantial interference with normal feeding , breeding, or behavior in sheltering or nest abandonment through substantial interference with normal feeding , breeding, or behavior in sheltering. After the delisting of the bald eagle, other new regulations acts on eagle protection got adopted to allow the issuance of permits by the service for take that is non-intential. These are the main protections that are provided by the act. The BGEPA also prohibits the taking of any nests of eagles whether active or very inactive. After several years of being inactive, however, the nests that cannot be maintained by the eagle’s eventuality simply disintegrate into stick pile and debris that can no longer be put under the protection of the eagle act.
The FWS had a recovery plan that was implemented on the bald eagles. The population of the bald eagle that was available in the 48 lower states got divided into five regions of recovery that made it easier for the service to do active monitoring of the progress of the process of recovery on the Eagles. The regions include the Chesapeake Bay, southeastern, northern states, southwestern and the Pacific recovery regions. Five plans of recovery separate for each of the five regions were implemented. The plan was as follows; the Chesapeake Bay targeted for 300-400 pairs and achieved 1093 pairs in 2007, southeastern achieved 2227 after targeting 1500 breeding areas, northern states achieved 4215 after targeting 1200 breeding areas, southwestern achieved 9789 after targeting 3900 breeding pairs while the Pacific achieved 2157 after the targeted 800 pairs. The FWS made the last decision of removing the bald eagle from the endangered or threatened list after a period of 40 years marked by serious efforts of conservation. By then the population of the Eagles had very much rebounded and it no longer needed the intervention of the act of endangered species. At the time of delisting the bald eagle had staged a state recovery form the point of extinction that was very much remarkable. According to the birds’ population survey in 2007, the number of the birds in 48 lower states had climbed significantly from 417 pairs of nesting in 1963 to the estimated 9789 pairs of breeding birds in 2007 hence the reason for the delisting decision. At this time, Minnesota was top of the list with about 1312 eagle pairs, Florida with 1133 and then Wisconsin 1065 pairs followed. The Eagles were also breeding in the Vermont and Colombia districts which until the first successful hatch of eagles in 2006, was not supporting eagle nesting (Jody, 2007).
The criteria that are used in the recovery plans are applied as a yardstick in the measurement of whether the species is endangered threatened or not. The factors are however not the only criteria that are applied. The ESA deems fit five threats that the FWS uses to evaluate and determine if the delisting decision is appropriate. The threats are; first, the present or modification threatened destruction or the curtailment of the habitat or range of the species. Second is the commercial use of the species or purposes that are scientific, recreational or educational. Next are the predation or disease and the inadequacy of regulatory mechanisms in existence. Lastly are any other manmade or natural factors that affect the species continued existence. The act requires the service to determine whether the goals of recovery has been achieved through the review of the best available commercial and scientific data that is available for evaluation of the threats mentioned earlier to these species. The responsibility of the service is to find out whether the set goals have reduced the threats sufficiently leading to warranting of the species reclassification or delisting.
The recovery of any species is fully achieved when the species is no longer in the danger of getting extinct. Again if there is no likelihood of becoming endangered with a future that is foreseeable throughout a significant portion or all range because the identified threats that cause the listing of the species have been eliminated or reduced. Through the endangered act on the species, the bald eagle has already met these requirements leading to its removal or delisting from the list of the threatened and endangered wild life. Concurrent with the act of delisting the service came up with a draft of the post-delisting plan of monitoring that solicited the public comments for a period of 90 days. As a requirement by the ESA, the service monitors effectively the species with the state cooperation for the next five years after the delisting implementation. The post-delisting plan of monitoring provided a solid framework that surveyed the progress of the bald eagles and documented its success after the delisting. The plan was designed to track the bald eagle population status in the 48 lower states through an act of sampling the pairs of breeding eagles. The plan is similar to the present methods of monitoring and was not intended to focus on the causal factors that involve the disturbing circumstances on the bald eagles or their habitat as defined in the BGEPA (Travsky and Beauvais, 2004). If within the five-year period or any other designated time of monitoring, the threats to the bald eagles come to change, or the population stability gets changed by the unforeseen events, then it can be relisted again under the ESA or the monitoring period gets simply extended. So far since the termination of the recovery process in 2007, the bald eagle has shown that it was a successful intervention by the ESA. The monitoring progress shows that the bald eagles are fully recovered and that they no longer need the process of ESA protection.

The bald eagle plan of monitoring during the post-delisting describes the process of monitoring. The ESA stipulates that in the plan, the process of monitoring will be done through the collection of data on nests that are occupied in a period of 20 years involving sampling events that should be held once after every five years. This was to begin in early 2009, and the monitoring that is conducted by the US states over these years continues. The sampling plots census is then added. These sampling area plots are selected from the habitats across the 48 states and are based on the nesting density that is known. The set of the nests occupied known will get combined with numbers other new occupied nests that are occupied from the sample plot areas. The goal of this is to be in a place to detect a 25% change in bald eagle nests that are occupied on a scale that involves intervals of five years nationally. When the declines get detected, the ESA is applied by the services of the bald eagle team that is doing the monitoring, together with local and federal state agencies to do an investigation on the cause of the decline.
The factors that are considered include the weather, contaminants, natural cycles of the population, changes in the habitats and other stressing factors. The results obtained are used to determine whether the bald eagle population in all the 48 lower states warrants any monitoring to be expanded, additional research or any resumption of protection of the federal or state governments under the ESA. After the 20-year monitoring program period, the service conducts the final review. On top of this, the information that is provided to the team that is monitoring the bald eagle gets reviewed for any potential impacts on population levels that include mortality, productivity, weather, alterations on habitats that are major and contaminants. The bald eagle has so far made a resurgence that is dramatic from the extinction conditions (, 2016). Through the ban of the DDT use that is coupled with the involvement of agents of wildlife conservation, wildlife protection officers and local ambassadors for the preservation and protection of wildlife who are elected to help with the recovery acts on the bald eagles have led to the success of the recovery process. All the cooperated conservation efforts from the service, individuals, states agencies of wildlife, federal agencies and organizations that are non-governmental, have also contributed to the recovery of this US symbol. Their responsibilities that involve enforcement of the laws of the ESA, through the umbrella of BGEPA and FWS include the determination that no any threat to existence either individually or in combination with others are likely to affect the bald eagle and get it back to the endangered condition that it was in, of extinction. Their successful efforts have been noted in the prevention of the foreseeable threats in the future that include contaminants or the loss of the habitats that may occur on the localized basis.
Under the BGEPA and the FWS, the implementation process of the ESA on the bald eagle has been involved some challenges most of which include the dealing with the convicts who break the laws. The success recovery has come with it, some serious cases of victims getting heavily fined or penalized. The penalties involve one year behind bars and $100,000 fine for individuals and $200,000 to firms or organizations for the first offense. The second offense calls for two years in prison or $250,000 to individuals and $500,000 fine to organizations. The BGEPA also enforces a $5,000 fine for any violation of the ESA laws (Buehler, 2000).

Annotated Bibliography
Goble, D. D., Scott, J. M., & Davis, F. W. (2006). The Endangered Species Act at Thirty, vol. 1.
This is a comprehensive and multidisciplinary review book on issues that involve the endangered species act, specifically focusing on the record of actual implementation of the act over the past period of thirty years. It is relevant to the topic as one understands how the act has been put to practice, the implementation consequences and the how changes can be made to serve the requirements of the protected species and people it puts under mandate.
Travsky, A., & Beauvais, G. (2004). Species Assessment for Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) in Wyoming. United States Department of the Interior, 1, 1-40.
This article explores much about the bald eagle species by looking at aspects of general description, where they come from and live, the kind of habitat the eagle requires, their reproduction, their behavior, communication and what they eat, their enemies, problems they cause and interaction with humans and the condition of being endangered. The knowledge on these aspects is important as they tackle what the paper will contain.
Suckling, K. (2006). Measuring the success of the Endangered Species Act: recovery trends in the northeastern United States. Center for Biological Diversity.
The article looks at how the act on endangered species has achieved success in its implementation process, goals and objectives. It explores measuring parameters that include the prevention of extinction, stabilization and the movement of the species towards recovery and also meeting the timelines of recovery. it is relevant as it offers information about the bald eagle as one of the endangered species.
Jody Gustitus Millar, Bald Eagle Recovery. Coordinator, Fish and Wildlife Service, 4469- 48th Avenue Court, Rock Island, Illinois 61201 (309/793-5800).
This article offers a summary about the endangered species of bald eagle and the states in the US where it is on threat and also areas that it is not at any risk. it gives areas where the bird is at risk and why the act is put to protect it and areas where the bird is not under the act of protection together with reasons. The article is important as it helps see the extent the act has achieved its goal of recovery of the bird.
Buehler, D.A. 2000. Bald eagle ( Haliaeetus leucocephalus). In A. Poole and F. G ill, eds., The birds of North America, No. 506. The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA. (2016). Retrieved 9 April 2016
The article offers a general description of the bald species, the characteristics of diagnosis, migration traits, habitat and ecology, food habits, characteristics of reproduction and management of the species. It gives the data on these aspects graphically and with the use of maps that gives the picture at a glance. The information is important in writing about the topic.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service – Migratory Bird Program | Conserving America’s Birds. (2016). Retrieved 10 April 2016, from information.php
The article offers information about the success story of the act of endangered species, by looking at how initially the bald eagle was in danger of extinction until it was removed in the list of endangered species after the remarkable recovery. It also covers information about the bird’s ecology and living conditions all of which are helpful in connecting the implementation of the act and birds to be protected.

Buehler, D.A. 2000. Bald eagle ( Haliaeetus leucocephalus). In A. Poole and F. G ill, eds., The birds of North America, No. 506. The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA. (2016). Retrieved 9 April 2016
Goble, D. D., Scott, J. M., & Davis, F. W. (2006). The Endangered Species Act at Thirty, vol. 1.
Jody Gustitus Millar, Bald Eagle Recovery. Coordinator, Fish and Wildlife Service, 4469-48th Avenue Court, Rock Island, Illinois 61201 (309/793-5800).
Suckling, K. (2006). Measuring the success of the Endangered Species Act: recovery trends in the northeastern United States. Center for Biological Diversity.
Travsky, A., & Beauvais, G. (2004). Species Assessment for Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) in Wyoming. United States Department of the Interior, 1, 1-40.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service – Migratory Bird Program/Conserving America’s Birds. (2016). Retrieved 10 April 2016, from information.php

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