Jane Hendron 760-431-9440 ext. 205
AVALON, CA -- For the first time since intensive restoration efforts began nearly 30 years ago, two bald eagle chicks have hatched unaided by humans on Catalina Island over the weekend. Biologists have been working diligently to reestablish breeding bald eagles on
The parents are long-time residents of the island. The 21-year-old male, originally from
Bald eagle restoration efforts on
From 1980 to 1986, 33 bald eagles were released onto
In 1989, biologists began intensive efforts to help sustain the reintroduced population, since the birds could not do so on their own. Biologists climb into the nests and carefully replace real eggs with fake ones. The eggs are then brought back to an incubation facility. If chicks hatch, they are fostered back into nests. If too few hatch, captive-born chicks from the San Francisco Zoo are fostered into the nests. Since 1980, more than100 bald eagles have been released or fostered into nests on
"After watching nests fail over the last 19 years, it is tremendously rewarding to see them hatch on their own," said Dave Garcelon, President of the Institute for Wildlife Studies, the non-profit group that conducts on-the-ground restoration. "Despite all that time, we never gave up. Our perseverance has paid off and we can finally celebrate this monumental event!"
Nests established as part of a separate but related IWS bald eagle restoration effort on the
Funded through the Montrose Settlements Restoration Program, a multi-agency effort to restore resources injured by the past releases of DDTs and other contaminants, the goal of the Northern Channel Islands program is to establish birds on some of the
"It is a testament to the persistent legacy of DDTs that now, over 50 years later-- half a century!--we are just beginning to see successful natural reproduction by bald eagles on the
The Institute for Wildlife Studies is a non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of wildlife species, habitats, and diversities, and conducts conservation projects around the world. IWS has conducted bald eagle restoration on Catalina Island for over 25 years, as well as efforts on the northern islands of the
The Santa Catalina Island Conservancy was formed in 1972 to preserve and protect the native plants and animals, and biotic communities of
The mission of the San Francisco Zoo is to connect people with wildlife, inspire caring for nature and advance conservation action. The Zoo's Bald Eagle Recovery Program, in conjunction with the Institute for Wildlife Studies, has successfully hatched and released chicks to the wild since 1991, many of which were released as part of the
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 545 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 63 fishery resources offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces Federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign and Native American Tribal governments with their conservation efforts.