Rock Island Ecological Services Office
Midwest Region

Contact: Jody Millar

Haliaeetus leucocephalus

See how successful the bald eagle has been in Iowa and Illinois

For more information visit the Service's Bald Eagle Web Pages.

The bald eagle was listed as endangered in 1978 under the Endangered Species Act in 43 states and threatened in five (Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Washington, and Oregon). Since that time, the nesting population has almost tripled. The earliest census of the bald eagle breeding population in the lower 48 states was in 1963. At that time, less than 500 pairs were found. Thirty-three years later, a ten-fold increase has been recorded. The bald eagle also occurs in Alaska and Canada, where it is not at risk and is not protected under the Act. It remains protected under the Bald Eagle Protection Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and the Lacey Act.

 Graph of the number of bald eagle nesting territories

The bald eagle is no longer an endangered species. As of August 12, 1995, the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service reclassified the bald eagle to threatened in the lower 48 states in recognition of its improved status. The Service recognizes only one population in the lower 48 states. Most protective mechanisms under the Endangered Species Act remain in force for the threatened status and are similar to those for endangered status. On July 6, 1999, the Service proposed to delist the bald eagle because it had met all its recovery goals. This delisting will likely take place in the summer of 2000.

 Map of bald eagle recovery regions

Last updated: July 17, 2008