On August 9, 2007, the bald eagle was removed from the federal list of threatened and endangered species. After nearly disappearing from most of the United States decades ago, the bald eagle is now flourishing across the nation and no longer needs the protection of the Endangered Species Act.
The two main factors that led to the recovery of the bald eagle were the banning of the pesticide DDT and habitat protection afforded by the Endangered Species Act for nesting sites and important feeding and roost sites. This recovery could not have been accomplished without the support and cooperation of many private and public landowners. Go here for more information about the recovery and delisting of the Bald Eagle.
Bald Eagle Post-Delisting Monitoring Plan
To ensure that eagles continue to thrive, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service worked with state wildlife agencies to monitor eagles. If it appears that bald eagles again need the protection of the Endangered Species Act, the Service can propose to relist the species. The Service opened a 90-day public comment period on July 9, 2007 for the draft post-delisting monitoring plan. We evaluated comments on the plan and released the final Bald Eagle Monitoring Plan on June 3, 2010.
Current Legal Protections for Bald Eagles
Although they are delisted, bald eagles are still protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and the Lacey Act.
Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act
This law, passed in 1940, provides for the protection
of the bald eagle and the golden eagle by prohibiting
the take, possession, sale, purchase, barter, offer to sell, purchase
or barter, transport, export or import, of any bald or golden eagle,
alive or dead, including any part, nest, or egg, unless allowed
by permit . "Take" includes pursue,
shoot, shoot at, poison, wound, kill, capture, trap, collect, molest
or disturb. Read more >>
Bald and Golden Eagle Permits
There are a number of different types of activities and projects that are eligible for a permit under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. See the Midwest Region's Eagle Permits website for information about the types of permits available, when a permit is necessary, and how to apply for a permit.
Migratory Bird Treaty Act
The Migratory Bird Treaty Act
is a Federal law that carries out the United States commitment
to four international conventions with Canada, Japan, Mexico and
Russia. Those conventions protect birds that migrate across international
borders. The take of all migratory birds, including
bald eagles, is governed by the Migratory Birds Treaty Acts
regulations. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) prohibits the
taking, killing, possession, transportation, and importation of
migratory birds, their eggs, parts, and nests except as authorized
under a valid permit. Read more >>
by the Lacey Act will continue even though the bald eagle has been delisted under the Endangered Species Act.
This law, passed in 1900, protects bald eagles by making it a Federal
offense to take, possess, transport, sell, import, or export their
nests, eggs and parts that are taken in violation of any state,
tribal or U.S. law. Read more >>
Bald Eagle Conservation
You can help conserve bald eagles by protecting habitat around their nests and by keeping safe distance from their nests or winter roost sites. Bald eagles are susceptible to harm by disturbance because of the prominence of their nests and communal roosts. Bald eagles need continued conservation so that their population remains healthy.
Go here for further information on Bald Eagle natural history and sensitivity information.
What you can do to avoid disturbing bald eagles and their young while observing eagles or hiking, camping, boating, snowmobiling, etc.
Additional measures to conserve and protect bald eagles.
National Bald Eagle Management Guidelines (25-page PDF; 144KB)
If you have questions or for further assistance, please contact us.