Bald Eagles
Pacific Region


Bald Eagles

The bald eagle was one of the first species to receive protections under the precursor to the Endangered Species Act in 1967.

After decades of conservation efforts, on August 9, 2007 the bald eagle was de-listed from the federal list of threatened and endangered species.  The bald eagle has exhibited a dramatic recovery, from a low of 400 nesting pairs in the lower 48 states in 1963, to nearly 10,000 nesting pairs today.  The recovery and delisting of the nation's symbol marks a major achievement in conservation.  Bald and golden eagles are still protected by Federal law today.


Current Regulation

The Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (Eagle Act) continues the protection of Bald Eagles to ensure the continued success for generations to come.  The Eagle Act regulates the “take” of eagles; where take is defined as (50 CFR §22.3):

Take means pursue, shoot, shoot at, poison, wound, kill, capture, trap, collect, destroy, molest, or disturb.

Disturb means to agitate or bother a bald or golden eagle to a degree that causes, or is likely to cause, based on the best scientific information available:

(1) injury to an eagle,

(2) a decrease in its productivity, by substantially interfering with normal breeding, feeding, or sheltering behavior, or

(3) nest abandonment, by substantially interfering with normal breeding, feeding, or sheltering behavior.


About This Website

Any activity that may result in take requires a permit. Often it is easy to know if your activity will kill or trap eagles; however, it may not be easy to know if your activity will DISTURB eagles. 

This site provides information about the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, and can help you decide if your activity will result in disturbance, how to get a permit, what current guidelines and regulations are, and provides information on bald eagle biology.

Please Note! 

If your road, home, facility, or activity was present before an eagle pair successfully nested in a given area AND your activity is not new or intermittent, your activity may be unlikely to cause disturbance


News and Updates

Press Release: March 23, 2012 Interior Announces Onshore Wind Energy Guidelines (pdf)
Federal Register: September 11, 2009 Final Rule Published in Federal Register (pdf)
Press Release: July 10, 2009 Utility Giant to Pay Millions for Eagle Protection
Press Release: June 28, 2007 Bald Eagle Soars Off Endangered Species List




Can’t find what you need?  Have a recommendation for information that would be helpful on this page?  We appreciate your feedback.

Last updated: April 9, 2012

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