Open Spaces: Happy 235th America!

Happy 235th America!

Bald eagle in Flight
Bald eagle soaring in flight from the USFWS Pacific Region Download.

We hope our series on climate change gave you a better understanding about how climate impacts nature across the country.  While that series is now over, the Open Spaces blog has just begun!  Visit often for new stories about what we’re doing in the Service to conserve and protect wildlife and their habitats.

In honor of our nation’s birthday, we dedicate today’s post to an American icon and one of our greatest conservation success stories in the Service: the bald eagle.  In our nation’s history, the eagle has always been a shining symbol of freedom and strength, but the story of this majestic bird has not always been as bright.

A little more than a half-century ago, the bald eagle was facing extinction.  Widespread use of DDT, loss of natural habitat, and overhunting were major factors contributing to a massive population decline of the eagle.  In 1967 it was declared an endangered species, and shortly after, the EPA banned the use of DDT. Successful efforts to restore eagle habitats and restrict hunting allowed populations of the birds to steadily increase, and on August 9th, 2007 the bald eagle was officially delisted and declared recovered, healthy and growing.

Although it is no longer endangered, the bald eagle is still protected under a variety of laws.  We are continually working to ensure eagles remain healthy well into the future and will never again face extinction.  The recovery of the bald eagle is a uniquely American story of resilience and hope, demonstrating the tremendous positive impact conservation efforts can have on our fish and wildlife. 

We at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service want wish you and your family a safe and enjoyable Independence Day, and a Happy 235th Birthday to our great country!

Bald Eagle Sits proudly

Banded adult bald eagle sits proudly. Photo taken in our Pacific Southwest Region. Credit USFWS: Download

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Last updated: June 21, 2012